SSA and IRS SCAM ALERT!
Anyone can become a victim of Identity theft and seniors are one of the biggest targets. It is important to always stay vigilant in protecting your social security number and other personal information. Be informed and be aware because scammers are creative and determined.
The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is warning citizens about ongoing Social Security Administration impersonation schemes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have recently received several reports of suspicious phone calls from people who claim to be with the IRS or the SSA. Here is a list of a few of their tactics:
- A person receives an automated phone call stating that their social security number has been suspended for suspicious illegal activity. The person is given a phone number to call to immediately resolve the issue. The call concludes by stating that if the person doesn’t contact the provided phone number, the person’s assets will be frozen until the alleged issue is resolved. When the victim returns the call, they are immediately asked to provide a date of birth and their social security number.
- Someone claiming to be from Social Security calls and says that a person is guilty of fraud and is subject to prosecution in federal court. Again, they leave a phone number and tell you to contact them immediately.
- IRS scammers use phone spoofing to make their number come up as the ‘IRS’. They accuse the victim of a fraudulent tax return or tax evasion and tell you to call back immediately to avoid prosecution. They ask for payment to resolve the issue.
Know this: The IRS will NEVER contact you by phone asking for money. They use snail mail as their only means of communication. The SSA will NOT call you and tell you that you are going to be prosecuted in federal court. These are scare tactics.
These scams are showing up in our local area and have claimed some victims. Remember to NEVER give personal information over the phone unless you have initiated the phone call.