Social Security number phone scams are on the rise, with new variations emerging every day. These scams can often seem real and are very dangerous.
One particular phone scam where scammers impersonate IRS agents has made a reappearance. But, this time there’s a twist.
Here’s what you need to know about this scam and what to do if you’re contacted.
How does this Social Security number phone scam work?
In this phone scam, scammers will call and threaten to suspend or cancel your Social Security number. They’ll say you have overdue taxes and request immediate payment, likely via wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift card. They might even threaten to involve law enforcement if you don’t cooperate.
No matter how convincing the call sounds, this is a scam!
The IRS and its private collection agencies will never threaten you. If you do owe payment and are assigned to an IRS-authorized collection agency, you’ll first receive notification by mail – not phone. You’ll then have the right to review and question the amount owed before any payment is required.
When in doubt, ask the caller to verify their identity. A legitimate caller should be able to reference the Taxpayer Authentication Number that’s included in your private collection agency assignment letters.
What should I do if I’m targeted?
If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately! Don’t give out any personal or payment information over the phone. Then, report the call to the following places:
- Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
- The IRS at firstname.lastname@example.org – be sure to put “IRS Phone Scam” in the subject line of the email and include the caller ID and callback number of the scammer
- Federal Trade Commission – add “IRS Phone Scam” in the notes
By staying vigilant and up-to-date with the latest scams, you can keep yourself – and your business – safe.