Alert! Tax Season Phone Scams from the IRS & Social Security Are On the Rise

Tax season phone scams from the IRS and Social Security will spike as April 15th approaches. Americans can expect a dangerous surge in these unwanted calls through tax season and beyond. 

IRS phone scammers and Social Security phone scammers are always on the prowl, but tax season phone scams will loom even larger in the coming months, as scammers will be even more aggressive as they look for vulnerable targets. It is not just the elderly who fall victim. Young people filing taxes for the first time this tax season and people who have legitimate tax issues often fall prey to these tax season phone scams that look like they come from the IRS and Social Security. 

Tax season phone scammers play on fears and anxieties. The IRS phone scams and Social Security phone scams are two of the most common and dangerous tax season phone scams consumers receive. In fact, last year, Americans received 61.4 billion total spam calls and IRS phone scams and Social Security phone scams were amongst the most prevalent. 

What You Should Know

Social Security Administration Scam

What this tax season phone scam may sound  like:

What happens: You receive a call stating your social security number has been suspended or canceled because of criminal activity, or overdue tax payments, and the spammer attempts to gain personally identifying information about you. For example, they ask you to confirm your social security number. 

Why you should never trust this: Your social security number will never get suspended. Even if the caller knows your name or has other personal information already, do not fall for this. The Social Security Administration will never contact you in this fashion.

What else you should know to protect yourself: The FTC warns consumers that the Social Security Administration will never call you asking for your social security number or threaten that you will lose your benefits if you do not comply. Scam emails, spam texts, and spam phone calls are all popular tactics fraudsters employ, so always be cautious regardless of the platform from which you receive a message.

IRS Impersonator Scam 

What this tax season phone scam may sound like: 

What happens: You receive what seems like a legitimate phone call from the “IRS”, and the caller is demanding payment immediately via a gift card or wire transfer. 

Why you should never trust this: First red flag, the IRS will never call, email, or come to your home. Second red flag, the IRS will never ask for an immediate payment in the form of a wire transfer or gift card. According to the IRS website, the IRS will not initiate any contact with taxpayers via email, text, or social media requesting personal information.

What else you should know to protect yourself: If there is an issue with your taxes, the IRS will send you a letter in the mail indicating there is a problem. No matter how convincing the caller might sound, your best bet is to just hang up.

Also note, according to the FCC, IRS phone scammers sometimes attempt to use the information they find from data breaches to file a false tax return on your behalf.  If they don’t have enough information to do this, they will reach out to you via phone to confirm the missing information needed to file the false return. Recognizing red flags when you receive unknown calls can protect you and your loved ones from tax season phone scams like these and others.

Key Takeaways 

Tax season phone scams like those pretending to be from the IRS or Social Security threaten to steal your money and your identity. It is always wise to be conscious of these threats and to take precautions to protect yourself, but this is especially important this time of year, during tax season.

RoboKiller is here to protect you from these dangerous tax season phone scams. It can help stop these scam calls from ever reaching your phone. The app features a robust algorithm that uses machine learning, spam audio-fingerprinting, and other innovative technologies to protect you from unwanted calls, including dangerous ones like IRS phone scams and Social Security phone scams that are sure to spike this tax season.

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