Lately we’ve received a number of reports from other Elder Law attorneys whose clients have received scam phone calls lately.
These fraudulent calls take a couple of forms. Some are from scammers pretending to be from the IRS. Others say that there’s a warrant out for your arrest for failing to appear for jury duty.
The scammers claim they are with the IRS, the U.S. Marshals Service or local law enforcement, and they are very convincing. They can have pretend case numbers, judges’ names and the like. The idea is to put you on the defensive and scare you into giving them money and personal information, like your Social Security number, your birthdate, credit card numbers and the like. They may even ask you to leave your cell phone on so they can track you.
However, a big tip off comes when the fraudsters ask you for money. They may ask for a pre-paid debit card, a gift card or a money order. Another big tell is that they usually call in the morning before the court house is open or in the evening after it closes.
How to protect yourself? First of all, never give personal info over the phone. Hang up. Notify law enforcement. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call your attorney.