IRS Warns About New Variations On Long-Running Tax Scams

The employees here at rbce Inc have experienced robo calls about compromised social security numbers repeatedly over the last few days. It’s hard not to be concerned when  you hear the same information over and over – has my social security number been compromised after all? The following article from Forbes online magazine by Kelly Phillips Erb should clear up any questions regarding these calls.

     It may be summertime, but that doesn’t mean that scammers are on vacation. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is encouraging taxpayers to be on the lookout for a “surge of evolving phishing emails and telephone scams.”

The IRS is specifically warning about two new variations on existing, long-running tax-related scams. One of the scams tries to gather personally-identifiable information related to Social Security numbers (SSN), while another threatens people with a fake tax bill.

The SSN hustle. In what the IRS has termed “the SSN hustle,” scammers call and claim that they can suspend or cancel your Social Security number. As part of the con, scammers may try to convince you to give personal information, like Social Security numbers and bank account numbers, over the phone by claiming that your Social Security number is at risk of being deactivated or deleted; the threats may also suggest that you are in danger of losing your Social Security number because of overdue taxes.

Many of these calls are “robocalls” or automated calls. In one version of the scam, an automated recording declares that your Social Security number (SSN) “has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity” and advises you to contact a specific phone number immediately. The robocall or caller may also warn that if you don’t call back, your assets or benefits will be frozen until your alleged issue is resolved.

Don’t fall for the scam. Social Security numbers don’t have an expiration date, and you don’t have to reactivate or confirm them for them to be valid. And even if you owe taxes, your Social Security number is not affected. Do not call the number or engage with the scammer (even if you think you can get the better of them). Just hang up. You can also report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1.800.269.0271 or online.