Friendly Reminder: Online Safety During Tax Season
March 24, 2023
We hope that this post finds our readers and their families well, and are excited as we are about the onset of spring.
With the spring season also being tax season, we wanted to share a brief reminder to be extra vigilant regarding fraudulent phone calls, emails, and even text messages from people claiming to be from the government or financial institutions (such as your bank or credit card company) asking to verify your personal information (particularly callers claiming to be from the Social Security Administration or IRS). Anyone of us can be caught off guard and fall victim to this type of fraud, especially as these criminals are learning how to use greater sophistication to trick people into believing the call or email to be authentic.
While government agencies and financial institutions may contact you over the phone or email for various legitimate purposes, if they are the ones contacting you, they should NEVER be requesting your personal information. If you are in doubt, always call them directly using the contact information listed on their official website. Another trick sometimes used involves Caller ID spoof, whereby the fraudster can make it appear on your Caller ID that the call is coming from the government or other entity. The fraudster might not ask for your personal information at first to gain your trust, but then will ask that you call them back at that number later to verify some information.
Please note that Centerpoint will never ask you to provide your social security number or account numbers via unsecure email, nor would we request this information through our website or portal by way of a chat bot or jot form.
Lastly, remember to practice online safety using these additional tips:
If you are a Centerpoint client and feel your personal information has been compromised, please notify us immediately so that we know if we should place a freeze on your accounts and can guide you through next steps.