Unfortunately, many con artists make phone calls in which they impersonate officials from U.S. government agencies such as Social Security, the IRS, or the Department of Homeland Security. In these scam calls, the person on the phone usually falsely claims that you are in trouble for something, such as non-payment of taxes, or a problem with your Social Security number, or a threat that you are going to be deported from the United States.
These scam artists often try to get you to disclose highly personal and sensitive information, such as your Social Security number, and they also often try to get you to send them money, gifts cards, or other things of value.
Here are a few things to remember:
- If you receive an unexpected phone call from a person who claims to be from the IRS, Social Security, or the Department of Homeland Security, the caller is very likely to be a scam artist. You should simply hang up the phone immediately. If you are able to identify the caller’s phone number, you should block that number.
- Don’t ever give out personal information to someone you do not know. U.S. government officials would never ask you to tell them sensitive information over the phone.
- Don’t give any money or any other thing of value to someone who claims that you need to pay them to clear up your problem.
Here are a few online articles about how to avoid scams:
- Investopedia: The Most Common Social Security Scams and How to Avoid Them
- The Motley Fool: How to Avoid Social Security Scams
- Department of Homeland Security: Common Scams
Con artists make their living by scaring people and making them believe that they need to provide information and money in order to get out of trouble. Don’t let them get away with it!