Frauds & Scams

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

May 16, 2016 • By

Last Updated: June 30, 2021

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.
  • 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 https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
  • For IRS impersonations, contact the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at www.treasury.gov/tigta, using the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” page.
  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission on FTC.gov.

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 ssa.gov or irs.gov.


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Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications

Comments

  1. johnathan D.

    Horse pucky

  2. Decon c.

    I did receive a phone call but I don’t get the number I think god for the service amen.

  3. Joe

    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

  4. Salvatore R.

    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.

  5. Michael F.

    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. LT

    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.

    • Jen

      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…

    • Brenda b.

      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.

  7. Chiman P.

    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.

    • Fermina P.

      i have not get Amy calls in Amy event i will notified social security of such activities

  8. Richard G.

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

  9. Richard G.

    I have recd Scam calls and I have turned them over to the Inspectors office in Binghamton NY

  10. J.J. M.

    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).

    • Timothy A.

      911 S.O.S. need the FBI !!!!! Being Stalked By Rouge Corrupt Officers
      of the Law as well as the Local thug Mexican Street gangs who these
      Policemen are friends with and working for and my Life is in
      Danger!!!!!!!!!!!!! Timothy A MacDougall ……. P.S. oh yeah its all
      about Identity theft which of course they have stolen mine from
      me!!!!!!! Please call the FBI in Virginia ,,,, I don’t trust or
      wouldn’t TRUST anyone wearing a shield here in CALIFORNIA !!!!!!! No
      ***!!!
      A T T E N T I O N
      IF YOU SEE SOMETHING OR KNOW SOMETHING
      REACHOUT & SAY SOMETHINGA T T E N T I O N
      IF YOU SEE SOMETHING OR KNOW SOMETHING
      REACHOUT & SAY SOMETHING

      MY NAME IS TIMOTHY ALAN MACDOUGALL . I RESIDE AT 9715 VINE ST. BLOOMINGTON, CA.92316….. AND I AM A VICTIM OF CYBER CRIME AND IDENTITY THEFT / FRAUD AS WELL AS DOMESTIC TERRORISM AND GANG STALKING BY MY NIEGHBORS AS WELL AS THE CORRUPT LOCAL COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPUTIES AND CITY POLCE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN THE MULTI MILLION DOLLAR SCAM..!!

      MY LIFE IS IN GREAT DANGER AND I NEED THE FBI’S IN WASHINGTON’S HELP IMMEDIATELY REGAURDING THIS GRAVE MATTER…!!!

      I HAVE HAD SEVERAL ATTEMPS BY SAID PREDITORS TO TRY AND MAKE ME VANISH AND SILENCE ME BY SETTING ME UP WITH DRUGS PLANTED IN MY AUTOMOBILE AS WELL AS MY RESIDENCE…AND HAVE BEEN FALSLEY IMPRISONED IN COUNTY JAILS & INSTATUTIONS ALL IN HOPES OF DISCRETING ME AND MY CHARACTER “(DEFAMATION OF)” TO KEEP ANYONE FROM HELPING ME AT THIS VERY SCARY/ FRIGHTING TIME IN MY LIFE…!!!!

      I’M IN GREAT NEED OF THE FBI, IRS, AND SOCIAL SECURITY’S HELP AT THIS TIME. AGAIN MY LIFE IS IN GREAT DANGER AND THERE IS MUCH TO EXPLAINE ABOUT THEIR SADISTIC DIOBOLICAL SCAM/ PLOT… AND ITS ALL BECAUSE OF MY HIEGHTEN AWARNESS AND THAT I HAVE FIGURED OUT WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND HERE IN MY NIEGHBORHOOD AND THAT I AND MY 75 YEAR OLD MOTHER ARE ACTUALLY VICTIMS OF AND GOD ONLY KNOWS WHO ELSE HAS FALLEN PRAY..!!!!!
      SINCERELY…..
      TIMOTHY A MACDOUGALL

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    • Raj r.

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      Hi thank you this is a great post

    • David J.

      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

      • Ann C.

        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.

    • jojo

      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).

      https://chartiran.com

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