The IRS recently notified tax professionals of a new scam that frequently targets life insurance and annuity policy owners. As part of our continued dedication to protecting our clients, we thought it was important to warn you about these con artists.
This scam is perpetrated through a variety of channels, but the basic premise is always the same: Con artists impersonate tax professionals, insurance representatives, or financial advisors and trick unsuspecting victims into sharing personal details that can put the victims at risk.
You might receive an email that appears to be quite legitimate, even from a real company with whom you do business. The email instructs you to fill out and return attached forms, in order to “update your policy” or some other false pretense. Your reply is then directed to a con artist’s email address (which might also appear to be quite legitimate), and you have now handed over sensitive information such as your Social Security number or account numbers.
Armed with this information, the criminal might now commit identity fraud in your name, access your bank accounts, or otherwise cause serious personal and financial damage to you.
The same scam might also be perpetrated over the phone, via phone calls that you believe to be from real insurance representatives or other financial professionals. Remember that giving out this information over the phone is dangerous! No matter what your Caller ID displays, it’s a bad idea to answer these people’s questions. Hang up the phone immediately if anyone calls you asking for this information.
If you’re worried about the status of an account or insurance policy, you can always call that particular company yourself and ask if their representatives have been calling you. However, in all likelihood, your financial professionals will not call and ask for such sensitive data over the phone - or via email.
We strive to keep your information safe at all times, and our systems are secure. However, if you’re ever concerned about an email or phone call you have received, please call us and we’ll help you straighten out the matter.