The latest variety of tax scam picked the wrong target when they called my fellow bankruptcy lawyer Wayne Silver.
Your social security number has been suspended, claimed the caller.
Having no identity is scary. What’s a guy to do without a Social Security number?
It’s sad that we are reduced to needing a number to validate who we are. But without a Social Security number, an American is virtually no body.
And that’s what the scammer counted on when he called Wayne, and doubtless thousands of others.
The phone message claimed that because of “suspicious activity” on his Social Security number, it was being “suspended”.
If Wayne wanted to know more about the situation, he could call the number provided.
And the situation must be urgent, because the scammer called 5 times in 24 hours.
Social Security numbers don’t get suspended
None of what the scammer claimed was true. Except that they wanted Wayne to call so they could GET his social security number, or scare him into sending them money directly.
Wayne is hardly your average consumer. He’s a veteran bankruptcy attorney and white collar crime litigator. So, he wasn’t scared.
He called me into his office to listen in and share the joke.
But lots of people are scared by these scam calls.
IRS lists latest identity scams
The IRS put out an update to its list of scams. This supposed “suspension” of your Social Security number topped the list.
My rule of thumb is that no one who calls you claiming to be from the government is real.
The government is essentially wedded to paper. They NEVER make first contact with an individual by phone.
Hang up, confident that your Social Security is safe, at least from someone on the phone.