What Is A Social Security Card
Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.
When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.
In 2020 Victims Were Swindled Out Of Nearly $45 Million In Social Security
This is the story of how my sister nearly fell for a Social Security scam. Her panicked call to me as she was on the line with a criminal trying to steal her money illustrates just how people fall for this type of fraud.
No doubt youve received a similar call, either from an individual or a recorded voice, claiming your Social Security number has been compromised because of criminal activity. You are told unless you respond immediately usually by sending money, buying gift cards or revealing bank account details youll be arrested or your Social Security number will be suspended.
Its a lie, but one that is so believable, last year victims were swindled out of nearly $45 million, with an average individual loss of $5,800, according to the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. More than 700,000 complaints of Social Security-related telephone scams were filed in 2020. A suburban Chicago man pleaded guilty early this year to laundering cash from a scheme that defrauded elderly victims. The scam allegedly conned an elderly Massachusetts woman out of $900,000 that she was urged to transfer from her bank and retirement accounts.
Social Security numbers cant be suspended. No government agency will ask you to pay with gift cards. The feds will never threaten arrest or legal action unless you immediately send cash.
Write The Social Security Administration
The last way to contact the Social Security Administration remotely is by writing to their Office of Public Inquiries. However, its worth noting that it may take longer to receive an answer due to the length of time it takes for letters to be delivered. If you do decide to write the Social Security Administration, use the following address:
Social Security Administration
Baltimore, MD 21235
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How The Scam Works
Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries across the country report receiving calls from scam operators , who claim to represent Medicare, Social Security, or an insurance company. These callers claim that new Medicare, Social Security, or supplemental insurance benefits cards are being issued or that the beneficiaryâs file must be updated. The scam artist asks the citizen to verify or provide their personal banking information, which is then used to commit theft.
The caller may be extremely aggressive, calling over and over, and at all times of the day, in an attempt to wear down the potential victim. These criminals will say anything to try to gain a personâs trust. In some cases, the criminals may have already obtained some limited personal information about the citizen, such as his or her name, address, or even Social Security number, which the criminal then uses to try to make the call seem legitimate. In other cases, the callers may claim that they can improve the benefits. Do not believe these claims, and do not carry on a conversation with the caller. Instead, if you receive a call asking you to disclose your bank account or other financial information, hang up immediately. These are criminals, and by speaking with the callers, even to ask them to stop calling, they may be encouraged to continue calling your telephone number.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services7500 Security Boulevard
How To Report Fraud
Do you suspect someone of committing fraud, waste, or abuse against Social Security? You can contact the OIGs fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or submit a report online at .
If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from our agency, hang up, and then report details of the call to the OIG at .
Our investigations are most successful when you provide as much information as possible about the alleged suspect and/or victim involved. The more you can tell us, the better chance we have of determining whether a crime has been committed. As you fill out a fraud allegation, please include the following about the alleged suspect and/or victim:
Its helpful to know facts about the alleged fraud, such as:
- Description of the fraud.
- Location where the fraud took place.
- When the fraud took place.
- How the fraud was committed.
- Why the person committed the fraud .
- Who else has knowledge of the potential violation?
OIG will carefully review your allegation and take appropriate action. However, they cannot provide information regarding the actions taken on any reported allegation. Federal regulations prohibit the disclosure of information contained in law enforcement records, even to the individual making the allegation.
Tips For When You Receiving Social Security Scams
It is important to know what to do when you receive Social Security scam messages, emails, and even phone calls. Any misstep can be fatal for you in the future, and you should follow the following steps strictly.
1. Hang Up Suspicious Phone Call
When you receive a call from a suspicious number and the caller says that he is an SSA official, you should immediately think of it as a scam. If the caller is giving you general information, you can listen to him.
However, as soon as he asks you something relating to your personal details and payment details, you should hang up the call immediately and block the number.
2. Don’t Reply To Texts and Emails
If you received text messages and emails and they appear to come from the Social Security department, you should never reply to them.
The Social Security department will never send your any text message or email whereby they will ask you to reply with details or perform any action in return.
3. Report Social Security Scams
If you have received suspicious calls, text messages, or emails claiming to be from Social Security, you should report it immediately at oig.ssa.gov/scam.
Even if you have fallen into the trap of the scammer and gave up your personal details, and even made some payment, you should not hesitate to report.
4. Don’t Give Money and Your Personal Information
5. Check Your Credit Reports Regularly
How To Protect Your Data From Criminals
How exactly do criminals get their hands on stolen personal data such as phone numbers? Two of their main sources are underground online forums and the dark web. How can you know if your personal data is being shared on these platforms? The answer is simple. Use Trend Micro ID Security.Available for Android and iOS, Trend Micro ID Security can scan the internet and the dark web 24/7 for your personal information. If your data is leaked, the app notifies you immediately so you can take action. If your information is out there, youll be the first to know!Here are some of the features offered by Trend Micro ID Security:
- Personal Data Protection Score See exactly how safe your online personal data is with your customized Protection Score.
- 24/7 Comprehensive Personal Data Monitoring ID Security can scan the internet and the dark web for all your personal information including up to 5 email addresses and bank account numbers, 10 credit card numbers, your Social Security number, and lots more.
- Social Media Account Protection Strengthen the security of your social media accounts. Be instantly alerted if your Facebook or Twitter accounts data is leaked by cybercriminals.
To learn more about Trend Micro ID Security and claim your free 30-day trial, click the button below.
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Earn Ssa Work Credits In Some Countries
You may not have enough credits from your work in the United States to qualify for retirement benefits. But, you may be able to count your work credits from another country. The SSA has agreements with 24 countries. If you earned credits in one of those countries, they can help you qualify for U.S. benefits.
How To Receive Federal Benefits
To begin receiving your federal benefits, like Social Security or veterans benefits, you must sign up for electronic payments with direct deposit.
If You Have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Call the Go Direct Helpline at .
If You Don’t have a Bank or Credit Union Account:
- Direct Express debit card – a pre-paid debit card. Get help by calling the Go Direct Helpline at .
Make Changes to an Existing Direct Deposit Account:
Learn how to make changes to an existing direct deposit account. You also may contact the federal agency that pays your benefit for help with your enrollment.
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Social Security Scam Call: How It Works
There is a new SSA scam going around nationwide. Watch out for a Social Security scam call, perpetrated by criminals claiming to be from the Office of the Inspector General , mostly using the Social Security Number Suspended scare. Well show you below what the scammers say precisely on the phone to protect yourself if you receive the call.
However, rest assured that these crooks are not from the Social Security Administration. Lets dive into the SSA Call scam with its variations and expose how they work. You can report the fraudsters at the end of the article if you experienced any suspicious activity.
Scammers call from random numbers but use technology that we assume you are aware of. They make the name of the Security Security Administration appear on your smartphone display. As people believe the call is from SSA, they pick up and respond with honest intent.
Social Security Scam Call Red Flags
Chances are, at one point or another, youve picked up the phone and heard an automated voice informing you that theres an issue with your Social Security number. Most likely it was the result of a Social Security number suspended scam a scam in which criminals tell you something has happened to your Social Security number, and it will soon be suspended.If you were lucky, you quickly realized it was a scam, but every year lots of people are not so lucky. In fact, in 2020 alone, there were over 718,000 reports of Social Security imposter telephone scams, resulting in total losses of nearly $45 million, with the average individual loss being $5,800.In general, Social Security scams all use the same techniques and follow the same patterns. Fortunately, this means that there are some telltale signs to watch out for, and if you know about them, can make detecting all types of Social Security scams much easier. Keep on reading to learn more!
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Social Security Number Suspended: How To Avoid
Besides this type of fraud, beware of many other Social Security scams out there, such as the Social Security Benefits Status, Social Security Administration Visit, and the Social Security Payments Delayed.
Watch the video below to see the Top 4 Social Security scams:
SSA does not call people just like that. The administration operates out of its principal office and via snail mail. If you receive a call like this, report it using the link below.
Here are some other tips directly from the SSA:
Asking For Your Social Security Number
If the person claiming to be from the SSA asks you to confirm your Social Security number , its likely a scam, Sherin said. The SSA would never call you to confirm your SSN. That scenario simply isnt real.
Also, SSA doesnt call out of the blue, she said, unless youve already been dealing with them on a personal business matter, such as a benefit claim. In that case, you should have the name of a specific agent and be able to verify that its the same person you spoke with before.
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How To Detect Social Security Scams Does Social Security Call You
Social Security scams are everywhere, and if you were to fall for one, the resulting effects could be catastrophic. To help you avoid falling victim, weve put together our top four signs of Social Security scams.1. You receive a phone call from the Social Security Administration . At some point, youve probably wondered does Social Security call you? or how do I know if Social Security is calling me? Well, the truth is, the SSA will only ever reach out to you over the phone in exceptional circumstances. So if youve received a call from someone claiming to work for the SSA, chances are its a scam. It is normal to receive a call from them if you have been in prior contact with them, however.2. You are asked to provide or confirm your Social Security number. You will never be asked to do this by a legitimate employee of the SSA under any circumstances. Click here to learn how to protect your Social Security number.3. You are threatened with the prospect of arrest, legal action, loss of benefits, or something similar. This is a tactic used by the scammers to get people to comply with their demands. Once again, this is not something an SSA employee will ever do.4. You are instructed to transfer money or cryptocurrency or buy gift cards. This is how these scams become profitable. The SSA will never ask you to do any of these things.
Dont Fall For These New Social Security Phone Scams
A troubling new report suggests that a dreaded strain of phone scam targeting Social Security numbers is on the rise.
The Social Security phone scam is by far the most common phone scam this year, with an astonishing 23-fold rise in frequency, according to a report from BeenVerified. Spam calls targeting Social Security numbers accounted for a full 10% of all fraudulent calls, according to the study.
Victims wire money, send gift cards, or surrender personal information to the scammers. Last year, this type of fraud cost Americans $19 million, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
But the numbers tell only half the story. While more criminals are targeting Social Security numbers, an equally important question is: How? BeenVerified shared the most common Social Security phone scams exclusively with FORBES. And although there are ways to spot these fraudulent calls, the long-term outlook is as troubling as the report itself.
The rise in Social Security phone scams.
New tactics lure victims into a Social Security phone scam
Scammers know that you’re screening your calls, so they’re resorting to new tactics.
“Scam callers are side-stepping increased consumer awareness about not answering the phone from unknown numbers,” says Justin Lavelle, a spokesman for BeenVerified. “They’re leaving official-sounding voicemails, often with a phone number spoof from a DC-based area code to add some validity to the impostor scam.”
This Is What A Social Security Scam Sounds Like
Earlier this month, we told you about a growing scam: people pretend to be from the Social Security Administration and try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, we heard from 3,200 people about SSA imposter scams, and those people reported losing nearly $210,000. So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us theyve lost $10 million.
Heres what one of those scam calls sound like:
Your browser does not support the audio element.
Scammers are saying your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because its been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, hell say your bank account is about to be seized but hell tell you what to do to keep it safe.
Oh, and your caller ID often shows the real SSA phone number when these scammers call but theyre faking that number. Its not the real SSA calling.
Here’s what to know:
If you get one of these calls, tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
A Message From Social Security
We are committed to preventing, detecting, and eliminating fraud in our programs.
Our mission is to deliver services that meet the changing needs of the public. Every day our employees diligently work to ensure the public receives the services and benefits they deserve. We strive to ensure the integrity of our programs and provide a high level of service to the public despite the efforts of those who seek to abuse our programs.
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Social Security Suspension: How To Avoid The Scam
Be aware that the SSA never schedules home visits and does not call citizens at home so beware of the Social Security Suspension scam. The legitimate organization only operates out of its offices and via snail mail. If you receive a call such as this, you should contact the authorities and advise them on what was said.
Telephone scams are as old as the telephone itself be wary of ever giving too much personal information to anyone over the phone.
Last but not least, beware of these 3 Social Security Benefits Status scams.
Contact The Social Security Administration By Visiting Your Local Office
You can also simply find out where your local SSA office is. Visit in person to have your questions or concerns addressed. You can find out where your local office is by using the Social Security Administrations Social Security Office Locator. All you need to do is type in your zip code and the nearest office will be pulled up.
If you need to contact the SSA, you have four options for doing so. These are calling, emailing, writing, or visiting in person. Be sure to contact us for more advice regarding Social Security benefits. You can call to set up a free consultation today, and you can also take advantage of our LiveChat feature.
This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.
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