Cannoli’s and Scams

Mark Buchalter | Accountsult When I was much younger living in Queens, New York, I remember going on a date with the cutest girl in town, to the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy, New York. It stretched along Mulberry Street from Canal Street to Houston Street.

In addition, to eating the delicious food (sausage and peppers, Ferrara’s cannoli’s, elephant ears with powdered sugar  from all the food vendors, I was “hawked in” and tempted  to playing a game of chance and win a lot of money quickly.

To make a long story short, I lost all my money in my wallet, and walked away downtrodden and embarrassed in front of my girlfriend, who I wanted to impress.

I relay this story, because it taught me a valuable lesson, that if it seems too good or easy, it’s probably a SCAM. Unfortunately, there will always be scams by unscrupulous individuals playing upon honest hard working people.

In today’s extraordinary economic climate, the latest scam is preying upon individuals seeking either the Economic Stimulus check that most all Americans are waiting for, or Small Business administration (SBA) loans.

Below are some tell tale signs to avoid being scammed, please heed these warnings!

PS:  There is a happy ending, even though I was scammed and thoroughly embarrassed, that Girlfriend that I mentioned above, still married me and 41 years later, we can fortunately continue to laugh at that embarrassing date.

Below are tips for how to spot and avoid scams:

What Fraudsters May Do:

  • Ask taxpayers to sign over an economic impact payment.
  • Ask by phone, email, text message, or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information for the purposes of expediting a person’s economic impact payment.
  • Mail taxpayers bogus checks with contact information (such as a phone number or web address) regarding how the taxpayer can cash the check.

How to Avoid Scams

  • Don’t provide personal or financial information to strangers. Never provide an unknown individual with personal or financial information until you have verified the identity of the person with whom you are speaking.
  • Don’t open or click on unusual links or attachments. If you receive unexpected emails, text messages, or social media messages with attachments or website links, delete them. Do not click on, download, or open any of the above, as you may be opening malware on your electronic device that can help criminals steal your information.
  • Checks are deposited automatically. Remember that in most cases, the IRS is using direct deposit to send the economic impact payments. Thus, if anyone is asking you for personal information in any manner, you should be wary and seek additional information to verify the person’s identity and employment.
  • There are no fees to receive payment. The government is not asking citizens to pay anything up front to receive an economic impact payment. If someone contacts you asking for any form of payment in order to receive an economic impact payment, please contact law enforcement.

If you or someone you know has been the target or victim of a fraud scheme related to the coronavirus, please report the incident to the national hotline at The National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721 or at [email protected].

Contact info for Mark Buchalter and Accountsult:

3109 Stirling Road, Suite 202 | Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33312
954-739-0310  |  [email protected]