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CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: Two scams going around and TurboTax refund

Published: May. 8, 2022 at 6:00 AM CDT|Updated: May. 8, 2022 at 10:00 AM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - We have three items in your Consumer First Alert this week.

CALUMET COUNTY SOFTWARE PHONE SCAM

The Calumet County Sheriff’s Office says residents in the Village of Harrison have lost about $78,000 to a computer software scam.

Officials say they’ve received multiple fraud complaints from Harrison residents.

In each case, the victims received phone calls instructing them to download software to their computer or mobile device. The scammers were then able to gain access to banking and investment accounts set up on the device.

The suspects quickly exchange funds to cryptocurrency. Officials say that’s difficult to track and ends up overseas where it will likely never be recovered.

The Sheriff’s Office says never allow a third party to access your computer or mobile device. Do not agree to make payments in the form of gift cards. Legitimate businesses will never take that as payment.

“If you find yourself on the phone with someone telling you they need to access your computer or mobile device or demanding a payment in gift cards the best thing to do is hang up and if the scammer calls back do not answer the call and block that phone number,” reads a statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

UNEMPLOYMENT TEXT SCAMS

Unemployment text scams are trying to catch people off guard.

A viewer shared a text message that claims there’s a $7,200 deposit in your unemployment account and it includes a link. Do not click on it.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has warned about these scams. It was a big issue during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do not click on random messages or respond to them. Don’t give out your personal information.

TURBOTAX REFUND

Some TurboTax customers are getting a refund. It’s part of a $141 million settlement in all 50 states.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says 7,600 TurboTax filers in Wisconsin will share $2,370,000 as part of the settlement.

Investigators say Intuit, the owner of the tax filing software company, lured in low-income customers with its free campaign ad, steering them away from the IRS Free File Program.

Intuit also agreed to reform business practices and its disclosures on free products.

People are expected to get about $30 for each year they were deceived for tax years 2016-2018.

Impacted customers will receive notices and a check in the mail.

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