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Extension > Local Extension Offices > Scott > County Personal Finance Educator > Articles > Protect Your Personal Information

Protect Your Personal Information

Have you received a call that you didn’t trust from an entity claiming to be the IRS?  I received a voicemail like this last month. The voice sounded automated, claimed they were from the IRS and warned me that this would be the last time I would receive help from them. They said, rather threateningly, that I must call immediately to resolve the issue at hand.  I know that I don’t have any outstanding issues with the IRS, so I knew this was a scam, but the call was scary to receive nonetheless.

Curious, I started to look around to see if others had been receiving similar calls and indeed, I am not the only one. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace. They have taken a myriad of complaints about phony IRS calls already this year, but they take complaints on many other consumer issues too. 

If you are receiving unwanted phone calls or emails, have concerns about computer security, your children's online safety or have had your identity stolen the FTC is the "go-to" agency to find tips on prevention and step by step instructions on how to handle filing a complaint if you become a victim of any of these consumer based scams. Check this link to find more information about how the FTC can help you.

 www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/privacy-identity 

It is also best practice to file a complaint with the MN Attorney General. If a complaint is not filed with the MN Attorney General, it will not be investigated or pursued in the court system, which means the perpetrators of these crime will continue to take advantage of people. Filing a compliant with the MN Attorney General ensures that an investigation will occur. For a list of issues that are handled and step by step instructions on how to file a complaint, please visit:

http://www.ag.state.mn.us/

Submitted by:

Shawna Faith Thompson

Financial Capability Educator

shawnaft@umn.edu

 

 

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