There are two new warnings this week about scam calls from government agencies.
The FBI says a robocall is threatening consumers by claiming they have a tax case against them.
And the Inspector General’s office says there are calls going around – some robocalls and some from actual humans – which tell people their social security numbers have been deactivated. We’re told that will never happen.
In both cases, the idea is to get you to give up something, either personal information that can be used to access your bank or credit card accounts or your social security number which could be used to open new credit card accounts in your name.
If you receive one of these calls, you’re advised to hang up.
What all Scams have in common:
1) There is an effort to get you to give up information or money quickly
2) There are often threats that you may have done something wrong and need to pay to avoid jail time or a lawsuit
3) The payment method is untraceable, like Western Union or GreenDot or iTunes cards
How to Avoid Being Scammed:
1) Remember that government agencies don’t call millions of Americans
2) Agencies or utility companies won’t solicit you and ask you to pay a bill over the telephone
3) Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize and unfortunately, you can’t assume a local area code is someone you know. Scammers are now able to “spoof” local area codes to make you think the call is coming from your own town or city instead of from across the U.S. or from another country.