Watch out for pre-texting verification scams

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 18:43:35-04

WISCONSIN — If you get an unexpected call or e-mail from someone claiming to be with Social Security, the IRS, or a well-known business like Amazon, watch out. If you are not careful, you could fall for a pre-texting scam.

Here is how the scam works:

You receive a phone call or e-mail from someone posing as Social Security, the IRS, or a big company like Amazon, stating that they need to verify some information.

The calls and e-mails sound and look very legitimate because the scammer often has some limited information about you such as recent employment history or portions of your credit card number.

They will often create a story or purpose of the call that can sound very convincing such as benefits or refunds are being delayed, an order cannot be processed, or that they are warning you that someone hacked your account.

They may provide a phone number or email address that looks very close to that used by a government agency or big business. But, do not trust it. It is usually off by one or more digits or letters.

If you get a call or e-mail like this, do not respond or provide any information until you check things out.

If you are unsure if something is a scam, contact consumer agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau, or our Call 4 Action office for help.

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