PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With Tax Day approaching, the number of scams impersonating the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security are on the rise.
On the street, in the office, or at home you cannot escape them; intimidating robocalls are a daily nuisance.
“It freaked me out pretty good,” said Ray Matthews, of the South Side.
Matthews got a scam robocall from someone identifying themselves as being from the IRS and claiming he owed $5,000. The caller offered to take Matthews’ Best Buy credit card to pay off the balance and said if he didn’t comply, they would come arrest him.
“They said they would come to my house, they would come to my work,” he said.
But Matthews begged off the call and determined it was a scam.
The number of IRS impersonators are on the rise with the tax deadline day just around the corner.
So are the Social Security scams like the one telling the recipient, “We just suspended your social security number because of suspicious activity. If you want to know about this case, just press one thank you.”
The Federal Trade Commission says the 35,000 victims of these scams in 2018 lost about $10 million. The Better Business Bureau says 32% of those contacted by the scams wind up losing money.
The President of the Better Business Bureau, Warren King, says don’t bother hitting one.
“The IRS will never call you. The Social Security Department will never call you. Most government agencies will never call you. They correspond by mail,” he said.
King says the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker is a one-stop location where you can report a scam call as well as compare your experience to the scam reports.
If you do find yourself engaged in a conversation with a questionable call, do not offer up any information.
Here is the “Never Give” list:
- Your Name
- Social Security Number
- Phone Number
- Place of Employment
- Mother’s Maiden Name
- Names of Family Members
But the most important thing to remember is if the call comes to you from an unknown outside source, don’t give them anything and just hang up.
According to the BBB, the top legitimate organizations and brands that scammers impersonate include: the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, U.S. government agencies, Publishers Clearing House, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Cash Advance/Advance America, Canada Revenue Agency, Facebook, Ray Ban, the Better Business Bureau, PayPal, Bank of America, Secret Shopper and the Yellow Pages.