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Tips to avoid impersonator scams

Social Security card under game piece letters spelling the word fraud
Beware of scammers who pretend to represent the Social Security Administration and other agencies.

The Postal Inspection Service wants USPS employees and customers to protect themselves from government impersonator scams.

During National Consumer Protection Week, which began March 1, the law enforcement agency is urging employees and customers to beware of scammers who pretend to represent the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies.

Often, victims are initially contacted via phone or email by a scammer who impersonates an agency official. The victim is then informed through misrepresentations and threats that he or she must remit payment to resolve an issue specific to the scam.

Here’s what employees and customers should know:

• Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency and isolate victims in order to induce the victims to remit payments, so don’t be pressured into making immediate financial decisions.

• Consult with a trusted friend or family member before making a payment.

• Don’t give your financial or personal information to anyone you don’t know and don’t trust.

• Reduce unwanted telemarketing calls by taking advantage of call blocking services, some of which are free. Contact your telephone carrier for more information.

• The Postal Service, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration and other government agencies will never call you and ask for payment over the phone or ask for your personal information.

• Report scams to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at

More information about fraud prevention and consumer protection tips are available from the Inspection Service website, the Federal Trade Commission website and a free AARP helpline staffed by volunteers trained in fraud counseling at 877-908-3360.

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