By Jane Scholz
Voices United members found out why it's good to have a friend in the IRS at their meeting this month when Evelyn Dyson Lee, an IRS stakeholder liaison, gave the group tips on how to avoid financial scams.
Mrs. Dyson, a longtime friend of Voices member Jackie Ford, is a former IRS tax auditor, but these days she visits groups like Voices all over North Texas helping citizens -- primarily seniors -- avoid financial fraud like email phishing, fake tax refund and collection schemes.
"Criminals prefer this kind of crime because it's very lucrative and much safer for THEM," she said. "They are less likely to get shot committing fraud on seniors."
She addressed the most common forms: emails from an unknown or fake sender with a link to a request for personal information or malicious software that can skim information from a computer or phone (phishing); menacing phone calls from fake IRS agents or bank or mortgage officers; fake tax filings that steal legitimate refunds, and unscrupulous tax preparers.
The most important thing is to be aware and not panic or react impulsively when faced with a possibly fraudulent email or threatening phone call, she said.
You can see a PDF of her complete presentation and tips along with her email for follow up questions on the Voices United website here.