One of the hottest phone scams right now is callers pretending to be from some agency of the federal government. The object is to scare you or charm you out of some cash.
Maybe you’ve already had one of these calls – someone claiming they’re from the IRS, Social Security or even the FBI. They may even claim to be representing some federal agency that has a grant for you. Stop and think. Grants always require you to actually apply for them – and the application process is usually pretty long and detailed. It’s like those “sweepstakes” scams (how could you win a sweepstakes you never entered?).
And if the IRS or FBI really wanted to, they wouldn’t be notifying you by phone – giving you a chance to take it on the lam. They’d be knocking at your front door with handcuffs at the ready.
Here are some things to keep in mind to make sure you don’t fall for these “federal” fraudsters:
1.) The federal government will never call you and ask for personal information. Never. (Believe us, between your tax returns and social security information, they already know quite a bit about you.)
2.) Any important communication between you and the government, especially if it’s of a legal nature, will be handled through the U.S. Postal System.
3.) The government will not suspend Social Security or Medicare benefits because someone else misused or appropriated your identity.
4.) Federal agencies will never accept payments via gift cards, bank transfer of crypto currency.