SHELBY CO., Ala. (WBRC) - Shelby County deputies say recent mailings threatening to seize wages and Social Security benefits are fake.
Investigators say the scheme threatens individuals with seizure of their wages and Social Security benefits to satisfy alleged non-payment of taxes.
Recipients are instructed to call a toll-free number by a set date or further enforcement action will be taken against them.
The letters use a fraudulent government seal and are sent from the ‘Benefits Suspension Unit, Shelby County, Public Judgement Records.’ This office does not exist.
Investigators say you can avoid becoming a victim by following these practices:
- Be suspicious of any unsolicited phone calls, emails, mailings or in-person solicitations which request funds or claim that you owe money.
- Never use a phone number provided to you from an individual making threats to verify their credibility. Use a verified phone number to contact a government agency if you are concerned you might owe money.
- Avoid unusual payment methods. No government agency will instruct you to resolve your debt using a payment method such as Bitcoin, money wires, mailed cash or gift cards.
- Keep your information private. Do not share your personal information with organizations you are unfamiliar with, do not have ties to and did not initiate contact with.
- Take your time. If you are requested to act quickly or there is a stated emergency, it may be a scam. Scammers create a sense of urgency to get you to act impulsively.
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.