RE: Tax Season Fraud
March 19, 2019
Taxpayer voice phishing scams are up nearly 20x since last year.
In this year’s incarnation of tax season fraud, scammers pose as representatives of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and ask you to supply them your Social Security Number (SSN). The real SSA phone number, or a one close to it, may even show up on your caller ID.
Scammers typically use one or more of the following tactics to create a sense of urgency:
- Your SSN has been suspended.
- Your SSN has been involved in a crime.
- Your bank account is about to be seized.
- You are about to be arrested.
- In order to keep your money safe, you need to purchase gift cards and give them the codes (Warning: NEVER do this or your money will be unrecoverable).
A recent FTC blog entry provides the following advice:
To report this scam, go to ftc.gov/complaint. But if you already gave one of these callers your SSN and you’re worried about identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov/ssa. And if you get one of these calls, remember:
- Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. Your bank account is not about to be seized.
- The real SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards.
- You can’t believe the numbers on your caller ID. Scammers can easily fake those. But if you’re worried, call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213. You can trust that number if you dial it yourself – just not on your caller ID.
- Never give your SSN, credit card or bank account number to anyone who contacts you. Ever.
You might also take this time to review methods you can use to recognize phishing attempts and further protect yourself from fraud.