UNITED STATES—Reader Alert: Recently, I have been informed from several clients during a Toni Says® Medicare consultation that they have received either calls on their cell or home phone or by mail from either Social Security or the IRS claiming that they owe money, are being held liable and are being legally sued or that their Social Security check has been suspended due to COVID-19 issues.

So many are petrified that one wrong move and they can lose everything they have worked so hard for. Let’s discuss what you, your friends or an elderly family member should do if you receive a call or something by mail.

Victims are receiving a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. They are told that they will be arrested if they do not make a payment immediately and asked to wire money, using Money Gram, Walmart, and other wire services. Millions of dollars have been stolen from innocent, trusting Americans.

The IRS will send you a letter not a phone call regarding your IRS account and will not send you an email, text message or reply to anything on Social Media about your personal tax information. Below are 5 tell-tale warning signs to tip you off…is it or is not the IRS calling you?

1)       IRS will not call you to demand immediate payment about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.

2)       IRS does not demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.

3)       IRS does not require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.

4)       IRS does not ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

5)       IRS does not threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.

What should you do if you receive a call that you are not completely confident whether it was the IRS?

  • Immediately hang up.
  • Report to the local law authorities that you have received a phone call which is a scam. Treasury agents are catching fraudsters throughout the United States who have defrauded millions from distraught Americans.

Social Security/COVID-19 SCAM: In March 2020, local Social Security offices closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns. However, Social Security employees continue to work. Social Security will not suspend or decrease Social Security benefit payments or Supplemental Security Income payments due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Any communication you receive that says Social Security will do so is a scam, whether you receive it by letter, text, email, or phone call.”

Here is what is still written on the back of the Social Security envelopes in 2021 informing the public of a scam issue “!!!SCAM ALERT!!! Scammers are pretending to be government employees. They may threaten you and may demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or other legal actions. Do not be fooled! If you receive a suspicious call: 1. HANG UP! 2.  DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY OR PERSONAL INFORMATION.

Social Security will never:

  1. Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee.
  2. Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  3. Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card.
  4. Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem.

For more information about IRS, Social Security or even Medicare scams, email info@tonisays.com or call 832-519-8664. 2021 Confused about Medicare Zoom webinar is Thursday, April 1 at 4 p.m. Visit www.tonisays.com to sign up for Toni’s new webinar event. 2021Medicare Survival Guide® Advanced book is available at www.tonisays.com.