Taxpayers need to be vigilant about scammers out there that are after your social security number. They will go to almost any length to steal it from you, steal your identity, and quite possibly ruin your life. In the latest twist on a scam related to social security numbers, scammers will say that they can suspend or cancel your SSN if you do not pay them money immediately. When you answer your phone, you will usually hear a recording saying that your SSN is in jeopardy and in danger of being cancelled or suspended. The scammers may also leave you a voicemail to this effect.
Scammers may also say that you owe overdue taxes, and because of that, your SSN will be cancelled. If you receive a call like this, HANG UP! Taxpayers should never give out sensitive information such as your SSN over the phone unless they are absolutely sure that the person on the other end of the call is legitimate
Here are some important points to remember. The IRS and its Private Collection Agencies will NEVER:
- Call and demand immediate payment using an unusual method of payment, such as a gift card or prepaid debit card, or a wire transfer. The IRS does NOT use these methods to obtain payments from taxpayers.
- Ask you to make a payment to an agency other than the U.S. Treasury
- Threaten you by saying that they will have you arrested by local police or another law-enforcement agency if you do not do what they say.
- Demand any payment of your taxes without allowing you the opportunity to appeal or question the amount that you owe.
If you have no reason to believe that you owe the IRS any back taxes, you should:
- Report the call to the Inspector General for Tax Administration
- Email the caller ID number or callback telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. Write IRS Phone Scam in the subject line.
- Report the call to the Federal Trade Commission. Be sure to use the words IRS Phone Scam in the complaint.
If you do think that you owe the IRS money, you should:
- Go to gov to look at your tax-account information and see the actual amount that you owe, along with payment options
- If you received a delinquency notice in the mail, call the number on the letter.
- Call the IRS for assistance at (800) 832-1040