Beware of Callers Impersonating Government Officials
There are many methods scammers will use to get money out of people. For example, one of the more popular recent methods is impersonating a government official. These scammers will tell consumers they work for the Social Security Administration, the FBI, or another government agency and ask for money to resolve some issue.
The best thing to do if you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from a government agency is to hang up. Government officials from agencies such as the IRS, FBI, or Social Security Administration will not call you without notice. Furthermore, they would not request payment or personal information. Such questions are just a way to cheat you out of some money.
Unfortunately, this scam has become very popular. Because of its popularity, many government agencies have started warning the public about it. For example, the Federal Trade Commission is in charge of tracking these kinds of scams.
Generally, people often refuse to answer or choose to hang up when scammers call. However, millions of consumers still become victims of such scams every year.
Unfortunately, scammers often target senior citizens because they readily answer calls, even from unknown callers. This easy acceptance is because they grew up answering calls without knowing what to expect beforehand. In contrast, younger people have grown accustomed to checking caller ID and simply not responding when they do not recognize the number.
Once again, it is crucial to remember that government officials will not make unsolicited calls. Government officials will also not threaten to arrest, stop benefits, or deport someone over the phone. Furthermore, they will never ask someone to send prepaid gift cards or money through a cash app. As such, no one should ever give money, gift cards, or personal information to an alleged government official who calls unexpectedly.
In addition, it is not safe to always trust caller ID because it could show the name of a government agency regardless of its legitimacy. As such, do not click on random texts and emails despite how legitimate they may appear. There is a good chance it is a scam. If you are worried that a call or email is legitimate, talk to someone you trust about the issue. However, if you still believe there is a problem, you should look up the agency’s contact information and contact them directly.
It is possible to have your identity stolen even if you are careful. Should this happen, contact the police and your financial institutions. You may also want to run a self-background check to see if any criminals used your identity.
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