The tax season is behind us. So we can only hope that the scammers will stop calling about all those "lawsuits" that the Internal Revenue Service will file against us if we don't hand over $4,212 immediately.
The IRS impostor scam is a big one. And frankly, I doubt the fake phone calls will stop anytime soon. But regulators and consumer watchdogs are warning of other scams this spring too.
Do not take comfort in what you're seeing on caller ID, as con artists can spoof that information to make it look like the call is from a legitimate company or government agency.
Here's a look at a few hot scams:
The Microsoft scam. I got one of these calls, and I've heard from many of our readers who are complaining about them, too.
The tech support scams start with a phone call from someone who claims to have been monitoring your computer and sees that someone is trying to access your information.
Maybe they mention Microsoft, maybe they mention Windows.
The scam artist might ask you to turn on your computer and go to a specific site. There are plenty of ways they could benefit from getting access to your computer.
Microsoft warns on its website that scam artists may want to trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords.
The scam artists then could turn around and try to charge you to remove this software. Other possible signs of a scam: Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the service. If so, hang up.
The repair crew at the door. Springtime scammers will soon be knocking on the door offering so-called deals for repaving driveways, fixing the roof or painting the house.
A sign of a scam: The crew indicates they just completed a large job nearby and have leftover materials and can offer a great price. Just pay in cash, now. Just say no.
The door-to-door magazine scam. I actually fell for this one once, a very long time ago. The Better Business Bureau warns that door-to-door magazine sellers may claim they're raising money for a school or a charity. Months can go by before you'd see the magazines that you might order. That's because the fundraiser is fake.
Ways to avoid rip-offs and scams? Don't fall for high-pressure tactics, panic about your computer or feel too sympathetic toward someone who seems sincere and wants to raise money for a cause. And definitely don't be too greedy for a so-called great deal.