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Protect yourself from IRS and SSA scams

by Cat Turner 2 months ago in how to
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Mostly fictional stories that highlight ways scammers operate

The following stories are mainly fiction; however, the circumstances are often very real. My characterization of the situations can help you protect yourself. Today, I will focus on scams related to the Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service.

OK, the first story is true. It happened to my Mom and me. The rest are fiction. My Mom received a phone call from a man threatening to have me arrested if I did not immediately pay the monies I owed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Mom was distraught. When I got off work, we discussed it. I reassured her that the IRS would not call and make threats like an old-time gangster in a cliched movie. She hardly slept that night, worried someone would pound on my door and haul me off to jail. She called the IRS office in Atlanta the next day, and while they would not discuss my finances with her, they reassured her that it was NOT them calling and threatening. She hung up and blocked the number when the man called back again. The following stories are fictional.

Sara received a call from a friendly woman. She had the last four digits of Sara’s social security number and her address. She had her cell phone number too. The woman promised to increase Sara’s social security benefit. She gave Sara her name and a local number. Sara had her granddaughter, Jennifer, look the person up, and the name matched someone in the local social security office directory. The woman emailed her documentation showing that if Sara paid $100 for a processing fee, she would get $500 more monthly on social security. The email was [email protected] The woman wanted Sara to pay for it with a gift card or bitcoin. Sara asked Jennifer to help her with the bitcoin machine. Jennifer would not let Sara pay. They took the email and information down to the police station. They confirmed it was a ring working in their town, but the numbers were from burner phones. The person was using Voice over IP to create a local phone number. It was nearly untraceable. Jennifer saved her Grandmother $100 and a lot of grief.

Jerry received a letter with the Social Security Administration seal on the envelope. The letter contained an invoice that said Jerry had been audited. He had received $1000 too much back in September of 2021. The letter threatened to seize his bank account if he did not mail cash immediately in the envelope. The envelope had a New Mexico post office box on it. Jerry called the post office and confirmed that social security had that box number. The person had identification that social security was their name and obtained the box legally. Fortunately, the police were able to take care of this person. Jerry was never sure if it was a man or a woman.

There are warnings and threats, fake documents and evidence, payment by steam cards, prepaid debit cards, digital currency, and a request for cash. Social Security will never promise to​ increase benefits if you pay processing fees. The IRS will never demand or request you pay immediately. You will receive letters in the mail.

If you receive a call you believe is a scam, hang up. Please do not provide anyone with money that calls you. Do not provide personal information, even if the caller already has some of your information. You may have been in a data breach, and the hackers sold your information. Do not respond to suspicious emails. If you feel threatened in any way, tell the police. Report scams to your local social security office or go directly to the Inspector General SSA office.

Stay up-to-date with current information. Follow on Twitter @ TheSSAOIG. A social media trend to share experiences and warn others uses the hashtag #slamtheScam. The website oig.ssa.gov/scam has more information.

Please stay safe!

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About the author

Cat Turner

My stories range from the whimsical to the down and dirty of a serial killer. A balanced left and right brain with my varied life experiences make me an eccentric bird. I have been blogging two years now. I hope you enjoy my stories.

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