Many government agencies repeatedly warn against scams targeting senior citizens and immigrants. Warnings come from agencies that include the IRS, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau, and others.

Knowing that scammers purposefully target senior citizens and immigrants, it is important to know ways to protect yourself and those you love. This common type of scam is usually done over the phone and often involves scammer threats of excessive penalties and fees, jail time, revocation of a driver’s license, or deportation.

What Can I Do To Protect Myself?

  • Be cautious whenever you receive a phone call from an unknown phone number.
  • Trust your gut. If something seems awry, take a moment to step away and evaluate.
  • Include a trusted partner on dealings you have questions about. We are happy to help as your trusted advisors – reach out to us and we will provide our perspective on the situation.
  • Scammers often push for things to be done immediately and use scare tactics such as threats of jail time or revocation of driver’s licenses. Legitimate government agency employees do not threaten with scare tactics.
  • Specific to taxes and the IRS, the best source of information for federal taxes is the IRS website (, followed by a trusted tax preparer with a valid IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Just recognize that there are unscrupulous tax return preparers out there. And the first contact from the IRS on a legitimate issue will usually be through mail, not over the phone.