The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers about an ongoing scam that is quickly spreading where thieves or robocalls will try to get you to call them back over the threat that your Social Security number is at risk of cancellation.
The con is scammers will try to convince you to confirm your personal information, like your Social Security number and bank account numbers, by claiming your Social Security number could be deactivated or canceled outright because you owe taxes.
Don’t fall for it, and do not call them back.
Social Security numbers don’t have an expiration date and you don’t have to confirm it to reactivate it.
The IRS also is warning not to give out your personal information over the phone unless you are absolutely positive it’s a legitimate call.
From the Federal Trade Commission:
“The FTC has gotten reports about scammers trying to trick people out of their personal information by telling them that they need to ‘reactivate’ their supposedly ‘suspended’ SSNs. The scammers say the SSN was suspended because of some connection to fraud or other criminal activity. They say to call a number to clear it up — where they’ll ask you for personal information.
“Thing is, Social Security numbers do not get suspended. This is just a variation of a government imposter scam that’s after your SSN, bank account number, or other personal information. In this variation of the scheme, the caller pretends to be protecting you from a scam while he’s trying to lure you into one.”
The FTC also offered a few tips to protect yourself from scammers:
- Never give out or confirm personal information over the phone, via email or on a website until you’ve checked out whoever is asking you for it.
- Do not trust a name, phone number, or email address just because it seems to be connected with the government. Con artists use official-sounding names and may fake caller ID or email address information to make you trust them. Besides, the government normally contacts people by postal mail.
- Contact government agencies directly, using telephone numbers and website addresses you know to be legitimate.
If someone has tried to steal your personal information by pretending to be from the government, report it to the FTC.
Editor’s note: The author of this piece received this exact robocall on Halloween, where the robocaller said his Social Security number was at threat due to back taxes owed. It then spoke a phone number to call back to settle the situation. So be on the look out for this scam and as the IRS said, do NOT give your personal information over the phone.
One other helpful thing of note: The author uses an AT&T app called “Call Protect,” which alerted him to the robocall being a “Spam Risk” before he even answered. The app is free with AT&T service, so check your provider to see what kind of similar apps they offer.