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Attorney General Josh Stein talks about protecting consumers: 2 Wants to Know

Attorney General Josh Stein joined 2 Wants to know to talk about what the state is doing to fight scams and protect consumers.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — HOW CAN I STOP ROBOCALLS? 

In 2020, the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice received 31,019 consumer complaints. More than 10,000 of them were robocall and do not call complaints. Since so many scams originate through robocalls, Attorney General Josh Stein created the Robocall Report Task Force and asked North Carolinians to report robocallers through a detailed web form (www.ncdoj.gov/norobo) and dedicated robo-report hotline (1-844-8-NO-ROBO). While robocalls and illegal telemarketing calls can be hard to track down and stop, these robocall reports help them identify patterns in scams that they can use to warn consumers about and help them work with state and federal partners to identify technological solutions to stop people from getting these calls.  

DON'T FALL FOR TAX SCAMS

Be very careful about how you share your tax-related information, and follow these tips to avoid scams:

  • Verify that the message is authentic. If the sender is someone you know, call them and confirm that they actually sent the message. If you’re not familiar with the sender, don’t respond and report the email to your company’s IT department and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  • Beware of scammers posing as the IRS and demanding tax payments over the phone. If you get a call from someone claiming to work with a government agency, chances are he or she is a crook. Unless you have received written communication from the IRS that outlines your tax debt, the IRS is unlikely to call you to collect. Ask them for the caller’s name and identification number. Then, hang up, look up the agency’s telephone number and call the agency directly to confirm the information. Also, if anyone demands you make immediate payments using gift cards, money orders, or wire transfers, hang up the phone – it’s a scam.
  • Guard your personal information. Identity thieves can use your Social Security number to take out loans, open credit cards or even collect your tax refund. Remember, email is vulnerable to hackers, so avoid emailing your Social Security number or other confidential information to a tax preparer or accountant. If you’re using a website to file your taxes, make sure your information is secure by looking for the lock icon on the address bar.
  • Watch out for tax refund thieves who file returns in your name and collect your money. If you receive a notice or letter from the IRS indicating that more than one tax return was filed in your name, respond immediately to the IRS employee whose contact information was provided.

Attorney General Stein Sues Frontier Communications

 Attorney General Josh Stein sued internet service provider Frontier Communications, alleging that the company did not provide many people with internet service at the speeds it promised them and charged many of them for more expensive and higher-speed services than Frontier actually provided.

Since December 2015, North Carolinians have filed nearly 400 complaints about Frontier with the North Carolina Department of Justice – at least half of these are related to Frontier’s Internet service.