A resident reported to Strongsville police recently that he’d gotten a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. Seems his SS number had been linked to a large amount of cocaine seized in Texas.
No, in fact, it had not. That’s a common scam plaguing unsuspecting people nationwide.
With tax season here, IRS scams are also cropping up.
The best way to deal with a call from SS or the IRS? Hang up. It’s rare that either agency would call you, and they will NEVER ask for payment over the phone.
Your Caller ID may show an official-looking number is phoning, but that’s easy to fake.
The caller will try to tell you your SS number has been suspended, or that you’ve been overpaid and need to refund money. Fake IRS agents will call and say you owe taxes, or else they’ll say you have a refund coming – and ask you to provide private information like your Social Security number or bank account number.
But here’s another tipoff that it’s a scam: They want immediate payment, and demand that you wire money, or send retail gift cards or prepaid debit cards. They may also ask for your credit card or debit card numbers.
They’ll often make threats: They’ll come to your house if you don’t send money, or they’ll file criminal charges, send the police to arrest you, deport you or suspend your business license or driver’s license.
The caller may sound legitimate, and may have some details about you. But neither agency will ever threaten you or demand immediate payment.
If you don’t answer the phone, the scammer might leave an “urgent” callback request.
If you get a call like that, just hang up. If either agency has legitimate business to conduct, they’ll send you a letter.