Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Government imposter scams increasing, arm yourself with preventive information

You can rest assured that if you actually owe any money to any government agency you'll get a letter in the mail from them. Not a text, chat, call, or email.

Tell your friends! There are lots of scammers who are pretending to be government agencies claiming you owe money. Government imposter scams are on the increase, and it is easy to understand how you can feel pressured to give money to these scammers. The Federal Trade Commission offers the following advice to protect yourself, and if you tell your friends, it might protect them, too.

"Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers manipulate caller ID to look like the call is coming from an official government number. Look up the agency’s number yourself, if you’re concerned, and give them a call. But don’t use the number in caller ID.

Government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Social Security Administration (SSA) won’t call, text, or email you to say that you owe money.

Nobody legit will ever tell you to pay with gift cards, money transfers, or cryptocurrency.

Never share personal information with anyone who contacts you. If you’re worried, look up the government agency’s information yourself to check with them.

Sharing these tips might just help someone you care about sleep a little more soundly. And, of course, if you spot a scammer, talk about it, and then tell the FTC at Each report helps protect your community."

If you are at least 60 yrs old and a WV resident, you can call and talk to a lawyer for free at WV Senior Legal Aid 1.800.229.5068.

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