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Scammers are targeting APS, Amazon customers and tax refunds in Arizona

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 10:01:41-04

With more stimulus money going out, more people getting at-home deliveries and with the summer heat on its way, scammers are setting traps hoping to get your money.

They are three of the biggest scams around Arizona right now.

As temperatures rise, so does the need for air conditioning.

Scammers know it and are calling with "fake shut-off scams."

Ted emailed the Let Joe Know team saying a caller told him he needed to pay an APS bill.

JB says his caller told him he ignored a charge to replace his meter. He says the caller ID showed APS.

In both cases, they were told crews were on the way to shut off the power.

APS says they never contact customers this way to demand immediate payment. Ted found that out by doing a smart thing- calling the real APS number before sending any money.

Fake phone numbers are a big scammer tool as Barb found out after being targeted by one of many Amazon billing scams.

Barb emailed saying she was told she had to call Amazon about a laptop she never ordered.

John says he needed to verify a $400 charge he never made.

Both of them found the numbers they were given to call were not Amazon.

Mark got a call to log in to his Amazon account to get a refund.

Amazon says they don't call about unknown refunds and don't ask for personal information.

But with a new batch of stimulus checks going out, and taxpayers waiting for refunds, government money scams seem to be everywhere.

IRS special agent Brian Watson says scammers know you may expect contact about taxes or stimulus money.

One email talks about getting a refund from last year and wants you to click on a link.

Watson says the IRS does not send text messages or emails.

He also says they don't call out of the blue and never threaten to get immediate payment.

Watson says all IRS correspondence starts with a letter and says otherwise, it's a scammer wanting your information.

"They're going to ask you for your name, Social Security number, date of birth, bank account information and numbers from past returns so they can basically steal from you," he says.

Never click, respond or talk to anyone contacting you out of the blue no matter how legitimate it looks.

Instead, always check for real contact numbers independently if you think there's an issue.