To the editor:
Earlier this month, I received a message on my answering machine in Gillette. The caller claimed they were from the IRS and said I was being charged with fraud. If I did not call the phone number they provided, my case would be brought to the courts.
A few weeks later, I received another message supposedly from the Social Security Administration. Again, they said I was being charged with a crime and instructed me to call a phone number they provided. Thankfully, I knew both of these calls were not real and did not give any of my personal information.
It is vital for everyone to know not to give personal information like Social Security numbers or bank account information over the phone. Agencies like the IRS and Social Security will very rarely call you without sending letters in the mail first.
Sometimes scam phone calls appear to come from a real agency’s phone number – computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. If you are worried about a call from someone who claims to be from a federal agency, hang up immediately and call the official agency phone number to get the real story.
These scam phone calls generally target older people or those who speak English as a second language. I urge you to warn your loved ones about these deceptive techniques and tell them about steps to take to avoid being a victim of these scams.
For more information about scam phone calls and how to report them, visit the Federal Trade Commission webpage for government imposter scams at consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0048-government-imposter-scams.
(s) U.S. Senator
Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo.