The scam works when callers pretend to be government employees and mislead victims into providing personal information or making payments. The Federal Trade Commission reports victims lost nearly $153 million to government imposter scams in just 2019.
One scam call that is really catching people off guard is when the scammer pretends to be with the Social Security Administration. The caller will claim your social security number has been used to file taxes or apply for a credit card. In order to fix the situation, the caller needs you to confirm your social security number and other personal information.
The scammer will request immediate payment via gift cards, cash, wire transfers, or internet currency like Bitcoin. These calls are all scams and you shouldn't take any action if you get one of these calls except hang up.
The Troubleshooter Takeaways to remember are don't be fooled by the caller ID. These scammers use technology to make it appear they are calling from the social security administration. Also no matter what the threat, hang up, do not give any personal information out.
"Awareness is our best hope to thwart the scammers," said Inspector General Ennis. "Tell your friends and family about these scams and report them to us when you receive them, but most importantly, just hang up and ignore the calls."
If you get one of these calls, you are encouraged to report it online here. IRS imposter scams can be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and other government imposter scams to the Federal Trade Commission.