Don’t Be a Scam Victim—You’re in Control

IRSWith the tax season wrapping up, scammers are out in full force. Perhaps you received a phone call demanding payment from the IRS. They may threaten you with legal action if you do not pay immediately, or say things like, “we are sending the police to arrest you.” While these calls may seem scary, it is important to understand that they are not legitimate. This scam, which started in October 2013, has claimed over $29 million from its victims. Unfortunately, this is just one of many scams designed to make you believe you are speaking with a legitimate government official.

Scammers use many tactics in an attempt to force victims to give out information, and sometimes money, via telephone or email. In Social Security related scams, they often call under a guise of helping you complete a disability application, asking you for your Social Security number or banking information.

Whether they are with Social Security or the IRS, a government employee will never do some things as part of official agency business, including:

  • Call you to demand an immediate payment;
  • Demand that you pay a debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe;
  • Require a specific means of payment, such as requiring you to pay with a prepaid debit card;
  • Ask you for your personal information or credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
  • Threaten you with arrest or deportation.

Any legitimate request from a government agency will come to you in writing. Additionally, if you do receive a call from a government official, they will be able to provide you with a telephone number and extension. If you receive one of these scam calls or emails, do not provide them with any information. You should:

  • Hang up immediately;
  • For Social Security impersonations, contact Social Security’s Office of Inspector General at;
  • For IRS impersonations, contact the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at, using the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” page; and
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission on

If you are attempting to conduct business with any government agency, or you have received a notice from such an agency, please utilize the telephone numbers provided in the notification. Additionally, you can find contact information on any .gov website such as or


94 thoughts on “Don’t Be a Scam Victim—You’re in Control

  1. Before hanging up, you can ask for the Employee number of the person claiming to be from the IRS. Typically, the id #s start with 1000 or 1001 and are 9 or 10 digits long. Then tell them you know they are NOT an IRS employee (and if someone is dumb enough to give you a SSN, write it down and turn them in).

    • I got a call on Thursday that my SS NUMBER being suspended and when I asked why he said he needed to verify the last 4 digits before we could proceed the I refuse by give it to him and he got confrontational I kept asking more questions and he hung up but the interesting thing was I was able to call this number back and it was NOT a bogus/disconnected/or not in service number the number was 1-805-317-6860 and they actually answered the phone I have NEVER in my life heard of a SS number being suspended so I did not give it to him

      • Thank you for bringing this to our attention, David. It is possible that an SSA employee may contact you to follow-up on a previous application for Social Security or Medicare benefits or to follow-up on other business you initiated with SSA. If you are unsure as to the authenticity of someone who claims to be an SSA employee, please call SSA’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller. Please see “Scams Involving the Impersonation of an SSA Employee” for more information.

  2. I have recd at least 2 to 3 scam calls
    and turned them over to the inspector
    generals office in Binghamton, NY

  3. This is good to make people aware of. I also got a call. long long time ago. I have been never late in my tax returns so I knew right away that this was a false call. I told the guy that go ahead do whatever is best for him but make sure you don’t get trapped doing wrongful. He hung up on me.

    People who are cheating our government on taxes etc are cheated by these crooks.

    One hand saves and the other hand gives away.

  4. Got a phone call 5/3/2016 on my mobile phone from 920-912-8918 claiming to be IRS. Called back, a man answered “IRS”. There was lots of talking in the background (like a call center). I hung up.

    • I feel so bad for others cause I go through the same thing ,they say now don’t even pick up phone if you don’t know number and don’t call them back..they are creeps and have no boundaries and don’t respect ours. Which means they are a capable of doing worse. I wouldn’t be surprised if all this cybercrime turns into terristic attacks cause they don’t fear authority obey laws or have boundaries or respect ours it’s horrible and out of hand…

    • Often you will find out the scamming calls come within a Prison! I say what is up with allowing prisoners to have computer access? They gave up their rights when they committed the crime! Stop allowing this to continue .
      Additionally, rather than just always alerting possible victims, I believe this
      Admin needs to spend more time on the Hackers! I received an email alleging they were from my mail order UAW employees pharmacy that I “owed” a small amount of $ and it was past due. EVERYTHING about the email looked legit, even all the logo normally on the website. But the toll free number was incorrect AND we have auto pay with our credit card! It has been turned over to Medicare Fraud and I learned the $6.70 they said I owed was a way to just get my info from later use with large amounts. I also have my credit card so that any large purchase MUST be verified with the card company and they ask a series of security questions.

  5. Beyond the normal criminal offenses such as fraud and theft, impersonation of the IRS (or of the Social Security Administration) is a major federal crime!

  6. Got a call from one of these scammers. reported it to the FBI and gave them the phone number. What these scammers don’t realize is that we don’t want to pay the IRS at all. So the joke is on them!!!! We need fair Tax and abolish the true IRS.

  7. I got scam calls several times. I just tell them, send me a mail and I will answer. I do not give my mailing address because if it is IRS, it has my address, ssn everything on its file

  8. I got a call a while ago. They claimed they sent me a letter.
    I asked for a copy of that letter to be emailed to me. Gave them a secondary email address I have. They mailed a letter showing the last 4 digits of my SSN. I know it was a scam, however it is scary that they had this information.
    I did notify the IRS (report).

  9. When I get such a call I inform them they they have reached a secret government agency and the phone # is only given to field agents. If they call again they’ll suffer termination by extreme prejudice.

  10. My wife is a stay at home Retired Business type Woman, very sharp, astute, and a No non sense type; she lets them have it Diplomatically, Friendly Like, and they realize she is ” Bullet Proof ” and they do the only thing they can do is ” Hang Up”.

  11. I received a scam call from supposedly IRS that I owe them. The call came from 217-697=6521. I informed the male caller that the call was a scam because I don’t owe IRS anything, he immediately hung up. I also reported this to IRS.

  12. Received a call stating that the IRS was going to sue me and to call back on the number left to address this issue.

  13. I received a computerized voicemail (supposedly from IRS) which that right off the bat was a GIVE AWAY THAT IT WAS A SCAM. But the voicemail is very aggressive stating that I will be going to jail if the matter is not taken care of right away amoung other very mean and aggressive statements that are made to scare people into calling these criminals back and giving them whatever info. It is that these horrible people that are doing this want. What’s so sad is that there are so many people out there that fall for these scams because they are so very scared by what these criminals are telling them and they do not know any better so they feel they should do everything these horrible people are telling them to and then these poor people end up loosing everything because they end up giving out their S.S.#’s, addresses, full names & one of the worst things to give out besides your S.S# is your banking acct. info. I just feel so terrible for these people that fall for these scams. But I saved the voicemail that they left on my phone and will be handing it over to the IRS, because it has a phone number to call back, so I will let the IRS (the actual IRS) handle it. But I truly hope that these blogs will help some people out there to be more aware about all the kinds of scams that are out there and to be informed and prepared about what to do just in case they happen to be contacted by these CRIMINALS

  14. The FBI and perhaps Homeland Security doing to track down, arrest and prosecute these criminals … you said that over $23 million has already been stolen …. It was very apparent from his accent that the scammer who called me was Indian or Pakistani. I ignored the call but was outraged and imagined that many fell for this scam. What are you doing to stop this beside posting a warning?

    • The government can’t do anything about the scammers. Even Social Security disability can’t stop the scammers from getting disability for anxiety, depression, and back pain. These scammers have doctors and psychiatrist/psychologist backing them up with medical records. They bust one, but there are dozens more still receiving disability and dozen more ready to take their place by the same doctors and psychiatrist/psychologist.

      • So what people with mental illnesses are crimials? I think you should do some research on mential disorders and educate yourself. On the issue just saying

  15. Victims got to be stupid to fall for this scam. Wouldn’t it be easier for the scammers to go after the small businesses saying they got video tape of them hiring illegal immigrants and if they don’t pay, then they will call the police.

  16. I would not say that the victims are stupid, rather they are uninformed and scared. If the victim is older and the scammer sounds professional enough, they could be intimidated enough to pay money even if they don’t owe it. They may not realize that someone could be evil enough to lie to them, especially if they respect the government and figure they must know what they are doing and yes maybe they do owe some money and they forgot.
    I have made a copy of this article and plan to have my pastor to discuss this at my church in a meeting. I want to present it at a neighborhood meeting also. I don’t want more people to be scammed if I can help it.
    If the government can’t do anything about the scammers, the least we, the informed, can do is to help pass on this information to the uninformed. So, LET”S DO IT NOW! Thank you.

    • The government is being scammed themselves with all these disability claims.

      Under 20 CFR 404.1527(e) and 416.927(e), some issues are not medical issues regarding the nature and severity of an individual’s impairment(s) but are administrative findings that are dispositive of a case; i.e., that would direct the determination or decision of disability. The following are examples of such issues:

      1.Whether an individual’s impairment(s) meets or is equivalent in severity to the requirements of any impairment(s) in the listings;
      2.What an individual’s RFC is;
      3.Whether an individual’s RFC prevents him or her from doing past relevant work;
      4.How the vocational factors of age, education, and work experience apply; and
      5.Whether an individual is “disabled” under the Act.
      The regulations provide that the final responsibility for deciding issues such as these is reserved to the Commissioner.

      The fraudsters get their doctors to write medical source statements and RFC. The ALJ take the treating source statements and RFC over the Commissioner.The ALJ gives the treating source all the weight in these areas reserved for the Commissioner.

      • First of all u obvisly have never gone through the prosses for mental problems first of all they ssia send you to There doctors not your personal doctor the doctors the ssia sends you to are working with the social security and those doctors are to weed out the scamers before ssia approves anything so i dont think you can influnct the ssi doctors to go in your faver and submitt false documention to the ssia. Therefore there not scammers. The people that are having real disibilys

  17. Most of the disability for mental heath is a scam. Older people don’t seek mental health treatment once they retire. All of the sudden their conditions are no longer severe where they have to see a psychologist /psychiatrist.

    It is very rare to see a senior citizen in a psychologist/psychiatrist office. It means that most of these people over 50 who suddenly developed these severe mental illness are fraudsters. Once they convert their disability over to retirement, their severe mental illness is gone and they no longer have to see a psychologist /psychiatrist.

    • AH, it’s Tony again. Is there ANY topic you’re not an “expert” on? Now you know all about mental illness: how “rare” it is for senior people to consult psychiatrists or psychologists, that “older people don’t seek mental health treatment once they retire,” that people over age 50 don’t get mental illness or it just magically disappears at age 50. No citations or mention of the source of this “information,” however. And where did you say you obtained your degree in – what was it, medicine, biology, science, chemistry – anything??? Oh that’s right – this is jyst your opinion, based on what you’ve “heard.” (Hm…hearing voices is a sign of mental illness…)

      Every single sentence in your post is fictional; every single sentence came straight from the same incorrect source: your own imagination, personal OPINION, and nasty, negative, hateful attitude. None of what you state is factual, none. You have no training, education, experience, nor knowledge of anything medical, least of all mental illness, that much is glaringly obvious from your ignorant claims. And the funny thing is, your post demonstrates the point of this article – people will believe anything. The unfortnate individuals who believe your ignorant claims is exactly the type person who falls for “official” sounding scams. Someone like you calls and makes all kinds of claims, using an authoritative-sounding attitude like you know it all. We should all thank you for showing all of us exactly how these scams work and why people fall for them. Take note, folks. Tony here just showed us exactly what to watch out for. Just because someone throws around claims and numbers and acts like they’re right doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about or what they’re saying is true. Once again, if ypu want to know the facts, go to the original SOURCE. Not some self-proclaimed “expert” or anyone who makes claims that they cannot – or will not – back up with crefible, real proof or evidence. Sheesh!

  18. A law signed in Jan. 1 by the President allows debt collectors to call if you own money on government back loans such as mortgages, school loans etc. Details should be worked out in the next few months. This will add confusion as to is legitimate.

  19. Reported ss fraud for years regarding an illegal using some one else’s ss they do nothing? The issued ss was born in 1951 or before the user was born in 1972 how is this allowed..? They turn a blind eye they don’t protect idenifty theft of have the proof want ot?

  20. Now a days, it has become very important to be aware of scamming. Sometimes it happens, though we are innocent, we become a victim of scamming. Thanx fo sharing this article.

  21. i had also call from a scam company reagrding my account will be suspended if i won”t provide her my debit card details. But i was aware of such things and this article added extra knownledge about precautions.
    Thanks a lot

  22. I had a voicemail today on my cell phone from a man claiming to be officer George Peterson with the Headquarters of the Social Security Administration. The automated message said that my SS # had been suspended and that I needed to call: (512) 862-7816. I’m assuming this was a scam.

    Thank you, Shellie

    • Thank you for contacting us, Shellie. If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA, please call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY number at 1-800-325-0778) to verify its legitimacy. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  23. What are FATCA and CRS? DNB Bank ASA in Oslo, Norway says that the US signed an agreement with Norway about reporting income. They want my SSN to be sent to them by the end of the month.
    I had bank accounts with them and a retirement fund started by my former employer, but there have not been contributions to the fund for about 10 years now. I can’t withdraw funds for several years yet, so I have to let it sit. A little counselling would be a wonderful thing.


    • Hello Norma. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day. Thanks.

  25. When I asked to learn how to do an online account it did not work so well can you assist me in starting an online account personally

  26. Recently I received a text from FBI. It had a FBI seaI and looked authentic. I knew it was a scam, so didn’t respond. I hadn’t heard of it before and tried to find a place to report it. I was not able to find anything on reporting FBI scams.
    Can someone address this?

  27. I did not receive any scam calls until today. I would like to tell thank you to social security administration of U.S.

  28. I received a call from someone wanting my medicare number when I said I did not give out that imformation they hung up. They said they needed it to send me a new medicare card. There phone number is 214-946-8616


  30. I filled out a form by what looked to be reputable from one of my credit cards It said information needed to be refreshed SS number was given. Today there is a $1,000+ purchase I didn’t make. And my credit card information is “out there.” I’m terrifired.

    I have reported to the What else needs to be done?

  31. A phone # from kileen Texas 254 213 5718 continuios calls threatening legal action about frad with your ss # when told don’t believe your ss they say don’t ever call this # when they in fact keep calling me. Had a person they were from local sherriff office answer and identify themselves selves as such they hung up. They are clearly from a foreign country as they barely speak english.

  32. Today I received a call which I didn’t answer, they left a message stating I was to call them right away as they are filing fraud charges if I don’t. I waited for over an hour to talk to ss. I ended up hanging up. The wait time is horrible.

    • We apologize for the long wait, Lee. We may have been experiencing higher than normal call volume. Representatives at our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), are available between Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.. You will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week.
      If a person receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, citizens may -also- report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via Thanks!

  33. I received two calls today regarding fraud on my ss number. didn’t answer just said if I don’t call back actions will be taken against me. There number is 207-807-8033 mine is 941 251 6624 thank you David Jolly

  34. We were taken by a fake small business Grant November 2017. By January 2018 the total damage was $47,000 on our credit cards! We lost one account but it could’ve been worse. Or GOOD credit has been a struggle for almost one year now.
    I know better but didn’t report to the FTC. Depression hit and focus on keeping payments up has been Priority.
    Our FICO is almost 100 points less!
    Is it too late to report? It’s NEVER too late to help others, mostly

  35. I’d like to report calls from the following numbers to request my Social Security information:


    I did not respond or provide any information to the individuals!

  36. I am receiving telephone messages from a “SSA” office informing me that my Social Security is being suspended and I need to contact a telephone number that is not listed on any of the information I have on Social Security.
    I did not contact the number but I wanted to be sure my account is not suspended . I have tried to contact the
    l-800-772-1213 office which is has various contacts but not one seems to be the proper place .

    Please can you help– where can I call? write? review?

  37. 1-980-221-1556 Medical Supply
    Was contacted by someone at the above number. Giving away DNA kit. No cost. The people speaking to me were very heavily accented…difficult to understand. I was asked if I had a new card with the new identification on it. I told them I had the new type card. They asked for the ID. I said no and they hung up.

  38. The reason that I am writing is because on Thursday 1-31-2019 I received a voice massage that went something like this. The reason that you have received this phone call from our department is to in form you that there legal enforcement actions filed against you and your social security number, being suspected of fraudulent activity. So once you get this message kindly call us back at our number 818-459-6578 thank you.
    The message sounded like a robo call.
    Sounds like a scam to me !!

  39. I received a phone call today stating that there are issues with social security and I would not be getting any payments unless I reported it. The recording said to push 1 to talk to a person and I hung up. The phone number associated with this call is 1-800-777-2151.

    • Hi Shadia: If the caller is claiming to be from Social Security—it is critical that you pay attention to the tone and content of the message from the caller. In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of your personal information, such as your Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase your benefit payment, or they threaten that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security.

      If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security, we urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your SSN or bank account information. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you, and never send the stranger money via wire transfer or gift cards.

      Social Security employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information or pay a fee. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. If you receive these calls, report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at

  40. I am having letters from Medicare ……but the person that’s got my name and address it,’s fraud……l was not in usa December 30th. 2018…. please take care of this l live. U.K. …..

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