As tax season approaches, criminals are trying to trick people into divulging private information. Thieves claiming to represent the IRS will call people and threaten to lock up their social security account because of unpaid taxes or some other problem. Some will program their phones so that the phone number of the IRS appears on the victim’s caller ID. Scammers may demand immediate payment with bitcoin or that the victim send cash by FedEx. They also may ask for payment with prepaid debit cards such as Green Dot, gift cards, or wire transfer. These methods appeal to criminals because the money is difficult to track or recover. The scammers sometimes pretend to represent a law enforcement agency. Law enforcement and government agencies will never demand payment over the phone.
To report a phone-based scam, call the Gwinnett Police at 770-513-5700. For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at FTC.gov
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