A bogus Social Security Administration representative calls a victim. The imposter tells the person their Social Security number is suspended, there’s been suspicious activity, or their account will be frozen or seized, so act quickly. These perpetrators convince victims to give up their Social Security numbers and other personal information, such as financial account numbers, then trick the person out of money. The problem with these scams is that they may appear authentic, and caller ID may say Social Security Administration or a robocall stating press 1 to reach an operator. The most important thing to remember is that the Social Security Administration will not randomly call a person; they send letters.
Tech Support Scams
The scammer calls a person claiming to be their computer technician, or an internet pop-up message appears warning about a non-existent computer problem (virus, malware, or hacking attempts). They will ask for remote access to the person’s computer. Once they obtain that, they diagnose a non-existent problem and either hack the computer or demand large sums of money for their work or to fix the “problem.” The worst part is these scammers return with bogus refund claims. To avoid this, only deal with a reputable computer person or company.
Fraudsters portray themselves as lawyers, customs officials, or lottery representatives, claiming the person won a sweepstake, foreign lottery, vacation, cars, or hit the jackpot in money, and all the victim has to do is pay for shipping, insurance, customs duties or taxes before claiming their prize that does not exist. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
A scammer calls a person identifying themselves falsely as an IRS agent. They tell the person they owe the IRS money due immediately via any financial method. IRS Imposters can be aggressive and threaten to have the person arrested, deported, their business suspended, or anything that can scare the person. Remember, the IRS sends letters and will not call people for money.
Romance Scams are more common when someone meets another person through a dating or relationship website, which can be successful. These charlatans make fake online profiles to develop a relationship with someone, then ask for money or make wedding plans, then disappear with the money. Ultimately, be wary if someone asks for money or something out of the norm when you are dating.