Jerry Jones CPA
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a CPA that you deal directly with, that understands your business, that works in all 50 states and is there for you when you need him?

Watch Out! These 10 Phone Call Scams Could Steal Your Money

Those scammers are sneakier than you'd think, but you need to protect your money and information.

BY MARISSA LALIBERTE

Pause before speaking if a caller starts by asking, “Can you hear me?” Scammers are looking for a specific answer, says Eva Velasquez, CEO and president of Identity Theft Resource Center. “By getting you to answer ‘yes’ to that one question at the very beginning of the call—as opposed to somewhere in the middle of the conversation, where dubbing would be more obvious—scammers can record your affirmative answer,” she says. They can use that recording to claim you agreed to pay for some scam program. Even if it looks like the call is from someone you know, rephrase your answer to “I hear you just fine” to be safe, suggests Velasquez.

Jerry JOnes phone scam IRS impersonator350

IRS impersonators

Don’t freak out if someone claiming to be from the IRS calls to collect money. Scammers use fear tactics and threaten to send the police if you don’t pay up immediately, but don’t fall for it. “The only way the IRS will get in touch with you is in the mail, on official letterhead,” says cybersecurity expert John Sileo. Even if the callers don't ask for money, they could prey on your information by ask you to verify your identity. They might quote information you’d think only the IRS could know, like what you paid in taxes last year, but that doesn’t mean you can trust them with your Social Security number. Hang up and call a phone number you can verify online, says Sileo.

Having a Backup of Company Data Does Not Mean You Have a Disaster Recovery Plan

You’ve heard over and over again that you must have a secure backup of your company data, but have you stopped to consider what you’d do in the event of a disaster? How would that data be restored to a fully functioning office environment?

The answer to those questions hinges on two variables – first, what was the nature of the disaster? Second, what type of backup do you have?

Put in slightly different terms, having a backup of your company’s data merely means that you have a copy stored somewhere, it does not mean you have an instantaneous way to restore your company’s network back to full functionality. This is not what you want to hear and comes as a shock to many business owners who thought they’d done what they needed to do by having a backup of their data.

'We Could Not Deliver Your Parcel' email could be scam

deliver parcel scam fraud CPA taxElizabeth Weise , USATODAY

SAN FRANCISCO — As Christmas approaches, experts suggest an extra dollop of caution before clicking on email package delivery notices. Fake notifications are proliferating, bringing not holiday cheer — but holiday ransomware.

The holiday phishing season began just before Thanksgiving and will likely extend until after Christmas, said Caleb Barlow, vice president for IBM Security.

“This is a $445 billion business. These are campaigns, run by the criminal equivalent of marketers,” he said.

Security company FireEye sees a significant increase in fake package email alerts beginning in November, an almost 100% increase from the average of September-October.

Common subject lines the company has been tracking include:

Avoid Identity Theft; Learn How to Recognize Phishing Scams

phishing scam identity theft jerry jones cpaSimply ask for it. That’s the easiest way for an identity thief to steal your personal information.

Each day, people fall victim to phishing scams through emails, texts or phone calls and mistakenly turn over important data. In turn, cybercriminals try to use that data to file fraudulent tax returns or commit other crimes.

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry -- all partners in the fight against identity theft -- urge you to learn to recognize and avoid phishing scams.

TECH NOW: How to mind your digital manners

phone private talkJennifer Jolly,
Special for USA TODAY

Do you have your smartphone attached like an external organ for most of your waking life, update Facebook like you're being paid for it, and check in on Twitter at least once per hour? If you answer yes, you're not alone, and while it's fine to be headoverheels with the digital age, you might be crossing the line of good taste in the process. There are hundreds — probably thousands — of unspoken social rules that we follow every day, but when it comes to smartphones and social networks, some people just don't understand where to draw the line.

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