The “IRS” is on the phone. They’re saying you owe back taxes and need to pay immediately using cryptocurrency, or you’ll be arrested. You reach for your wallet but then think — WAIT — is this really the IRS? Or is it someone impersonating the IRS?
According to the latest FTC data, impersonation scams were the top reported scam in 2022. The FTC got more than 700,000 reports about impersonation scams, with one in five including loss of money.
So, what do impersonation scams usually look like? Someone may call, tell you they’re from a government agency, and say you owe taxes or a fine. Or they may pretend to be a family member or friend in trouble, who needs money right away. They may pose as someone from a tech support company and claim there’s a problem with your computer. Or pretend they’re a love interest who needs an expensive medical procedure.