SCAM ALERT: Con artists trying to steal your tax returns

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Monday is Tax Day and scammers are ramping up their efforts to steal your refunds.

The Better Business Bureau of Eastern Carolina says scammers are calling residents claiming to be with the Social Security Administration, warning that your SSN has gotten into the hands of criminals.

The scammer then asks you to confirm your Social Security number, otherwise it will be suspended immediately.

In reality, the BBB says scammers are trying to get a hold of your SSN to steal your identity and file a false tax return in your name.

Here's how to avoid falling victim:

• Never give personal information to unsolicited callers.
• Remember, the SSA will never call you asking for your Social Security number. They will never ask you to pay anything nor will they threaten your benefits.
• Don't trust your caller ID. The internet makes it possible for scammers to use fake caller ID's. If you receive a suspicious call, don't make any decisions based on what your caller ID says.
• Contact the Social Security Administration directly if you have concerns about a call you received. You can call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

The Better Business Bureau of ENC says more than 1,600 Social Security scams were reported in 2018.