Measures You Can Take To Prevent Fraud
- Do not routinely carry your Social Security card
- Never say your SSN aloud in public
- Beware of phishing scams to trick you into revealing personal information
- Create a account to help you keep track of your records and identify any suspicious activity
- Consider adding these blocks to your account with us:
- The eServices block It prevents anyone, including you, from seeing or changing your personal information on the internet. Once we add the block, you or your representative will need to visit your local field office to request removal of the block.
- The Direct Deposit Fraud Prevention block This prevents anyone, including you, from enrolling in direct deposit or changing your address or direct deposit information through or a financial institution . Once we add the block, you or your representative will need to visit your local field office to request removal of the block or make any future changes to direct deposit or contact information.
Why Your Social Security Number Is Never Suspended
The Social Security Administration does not suspend social security numbers. Even if you commit a crime, your social security number stays valid and active. It has to. Government agencies use your social security number to track tax payments, credit scores, unemployment account balances, and a bunch of other stuff.
The Social Security Administration cant just turn off your social security number.
The only reason that the Social Security Administration will call you is if youve already contacted them. If you have an open case, the Social Security Administration may call you to move the case forward. However, the government usually conducts business via postal mail.
So, the Social Security Administration will never call to:
- Ask you to wire money to them.
- Ask you to send cash.
- Tell you to put all your money on gift cards.
- Threaten to revoke social security benefits.
- Threaten to seize bank accounts.
- Verify your social security number.
Sometimes, the calls will be from the actual Social Security Administration phone number. The number is: 1-800-772-1213. However, scammers can spoof the Social Security Administration phone number.
Spoofing is faking a phone number. Scammers use spoofing to make their scam calls appear legitimate. Scammers can also use spoofing to send scam emails that appear to be from a government email address.
How Service Canada Protects Your Sin
Service Canada stores personal information requested to apply for a SIN in the Social Insurance Register. This information includes your name, date of birth, place of birth and your parents’ names. Dates of death are also recorded in the Register.
Service Canada protects your SIN in the following ways:
- we store your personal information carefully on our premises and in computer systems that are only accessible to authorized employees who have a “need to know”
- we provide guidance about how to protect your SIN and your personal information
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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.
How To Tell If Its Legitimate Or A Scam
Scammers are aware that people are catching on to their attempts, so theyre coming up with new ways to convince Social Security beneficiaries that their frauds are legitimate. Heres what to watch for so you can protect yourself and others from Social Security scams.
1. Threatening arrest or legal action: If you receive a threatening phone call claiming that theres an issue with your Social Security number or benefits, its a scam. The Social Security Administration will never threaten you with arrest or other legal action if you dont immediately pay a fine or fee.
2. Emails or texts with personally identifiable information: If theres a legitimate problem with your Social Security number or record, the SSA will mail you a letter to notify you of any issues.
3. Misspellings and grammar mistakes: If the caller follows up with emails containing falsified letters or reports that appear to be from the SSA or SSAs OIG, look closely. The letters may use government “jargon” or letterhead that appears official in order to help convince victims, but they may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes.
5. Offers to increase benefits in exchange for payment: Similarly, SSA employees will never promise to increase your Social Security benefits, or offer other assistance, in exchange for payment.
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Where Do I Report Fake Social Security Calls
You should report these attempted Social Security fraud calls to the Office of the Inspector General. You can do this via a phone call or by visiting the website at https://oig.ssa.gov/. You should provide as much detail in your report as possible to help them thoroughly investigate the matter. You can also report Social Security phishing scams through this same method. Be prepared to provide your name, address, SSN, date of birth, and as much additional information as you are comfortable providing. Youll also need to let them know when and where the scam took place as well as which method was used to attempt to obtain your information.
Social Security Fraud By Mail
While the rise of scams perpetrated electronically, and thus cheaply, has reduced the volume of Social Security fraud by mail, the practice has not entirely vanished. One such scheme is a direct mail scam that primarily targets older people
A letter comes in the mail offering an extra check, along with a form asking for personal information and a filing fee. In it, the scammer asks the recipient for a Social Security number, money, and/or bank account information to help with the application.
Again, this is a red flag. The Social Security Administration will never ask for your full Social Security number, because it already knows it. In the event the SSA does send you a letterfor example, when your benefits increaseit will never ask you for money or any other personal information.
The Social Security Administration will never ask you for your full Social Security number. It already knows it.
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Never Share Your Social Security Number With Anyone
This should be obvious, but never give anyone your Social Security number! These callers will often ask you to verify your Social Security number so that they can remove the suspension or perform some other activity. Never give them your SSN! They might even have other information about you such as your address, work history, or other information that they use to convince you the call is real. Much of this information is available on the Internet, and they have probably obtained it simply for the process of tricking you.
Other versions of this call might only request you to verify the last four digits of your SSN. Do not give them this information either! You should not share any personal information with these callers, and that is why it is imperative that you hang up immediately upon receiving the call. If the caller gains access to even the last four of your Social Security number, they can use that information to obtain illegal access to your bank accounts or credit cards. Within a matter of minutes, they could get access to your bank account number and drain your accounts or max out your credit limits. This is not a scam that you want to fall for! Even if you are in the middle of replacing a lost or stolen Social Security card, hang up and call back using the SSAs known number.
Social Security Administration Call Scam: How To Report
Make your family and friends aware of the Social Security Administration Call Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. Youll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.
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If You Receive A Suspicious Call Text Or Email:
If you receive a call, text, or email that you believe to be suspicious, about a problem with your Social Security number or account, do not respond or engage with the caller or sender. Report Social Security phone, email, and text scams through our dedicated online form.
Protect Yourself From Social Security Number Spoofing Scams
View a video from the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General on how to prevent fraud. Also, read a recent Social Security blog post: IG Warns Public About Caller ID ‘Spoofing’ of Social Security Fraud Hotline Phone Number
Voicemail – Social Security Scam Audio
Audio transcript: This is the SSN department. My name is Officer Katherine Richardson and this call is regarding to your Social Security Number. Weve found some fraudulent activities under your name. To know more information please call us back on this number: 660-XXXX. I repeat 660-XXXX Thank you.
Nearly all of your financial and medical records are connected to your Social Security number, which is why data thieves are constantly trying to nab it for use in fraud schemes or for selling it illicitly.
Robocall scammers use spoofing to deliberately falsify the caller ID that appears on your phone, disguising their identities in attempts to steal your Social Security number and other valuable personal information.
Often the scammers spoof a Social Security Administration phone number so you’ll think it’s the agency calling. SSA blog posts alert consumers to this spoofing scam and new twists phone scammers use to convince consumers they’re legit.
There are simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of a spoofing scam. Follow the helpful tips in the FCC’s consumer guide on spoofing, such as:
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When You Don’t Have To Provide Your Sin
Some private-sector organizations may ask for your SIN. This practice is strongly discouraged, but it is not illegal.
Here are examples of when you don’t have to give your SIN:
- proving your identity
- completing a job application before you get the job
- completing an application to rent a property
- negotiating a lease with a landlord
- completing a credit card application
- cashing a cheque
- applying to a university or college
Throughout The Pandemic Instances Of Fraud Against Recipients Of Government Support Have Been On The Rise Here’s How To Spot One Of The Most Common Ploys
The Social Security Administrations national Slam the Scam day on 4 March came as an increasing number of Social Security recipients reported getting unsolicited phone calls requesting personal information.
The calls often claimed that the recipient’s Social Security Number had been suspended, and asked for important details or even financial payments to get it reinstated. However these calls are all fraudulent and represent a recent increase in scammers looking to swindle people out of their stimulus checks and other forms of government support.
Scammers target Social Security recipients
To help Americans struggling through the economic consequences of the pandemic, the federal government has spent trillions of dollars to provide financial support for those in need. The money may come in the form of stimulus checks, additional unemployment benefits or extra tax refunds, and scammers are targeting these payments.
Bidens $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package will send billions of dollars to Americas jobless. Its also a potential bonanza for scammers.
The Social Security Number suspension scam is one of the latest to be uncovered, where fraudsters often claim that they need money or personal details to facilitate a stimulus check payment. However the Federal Trade Commission are very clear on the subject and advise that this will never be the case:
Over 200,000 Americans hit by covid-related fraud
Social Security Combats Fraud
Social Security has zero tolerance for fraud. We aggressively investigate and prosecute those who commit fraud against our programs. Social Security is diligently working at national, regional, and local levels to combat the fraud that undermines our mission to serve the American public. OIG conducts investigations of allegations of SSA fraud. They refer cases to U.S. attorneys within the Department of Justice, among other state and local prosecuting authorities, for prosecution as a Federal Crime.
Fraudulent Threatening Phone Calls
When the National Council on Aging announced its “Scams to Watch Out For” in 2019, bogus phone calls related to Social Security benefits topped the list. The Federal Trade Commission says the number of such calls and their financial impact is growing exponentially.
The calls often involve peopleor robotic voicespretending to be from the Social Security Administration who try to get your Social Security number or demand money, according to the FTC. The agency warns that callers sometimes use spoofing techniques to make the genuine Social Security hotline number appear on the recipients caller ID screen. The caller may also identify themselves using the name of an actual SSA official.
The SSA says the language used in these calls has become increasingly threatening in recent years. The caller typically states that due to improper or illegal activity with the persons Social Security number or account, they will be arrested or face other legal action unless they call a particular phone number to address the issue.
The tone of such calls is itself an indicator that they are fraudulent. The SSA does contact some recipients by phone, but theyre almost always people who have current business with the agency. And an SSA employee will never threaten you for information they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information, the agency says. In cases the call is fraudulent.
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Fraudulent Friendly Service Phone Calls
Another type of scam call attempts to sell to the recipient services the SSA readily provides at no charge. The caller might, for example, offer to provide a new Social Security card, enroll a new family member in the program, or provide a record of Social Security contributions to date, along with the expected future income they will yield.
The Investigators: What To Do If Someone Threatens That Your Social Security Number Benefits Are Being Suspended
Scammers calling Mid-Southerners more than ever during Pandemic
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Sherry Wilburn received a call last week that put her on high alert.
The woman said my bank account had been frozen and that she was from the social security department, said Wilburn.
Wilburn says the woman on the other end of the line told her a rental car was found in her name in El Paso, Texas.
She just kept talking and telling me that I was being seized for millions of dollars because of all the cocaine and drugs that was in this car, she said.
What were you thinking when you were hearing this? Asked The Investigators.
Thats impossible. I havent been to Texas and I certainly never lived there, said Wilburn.
Concerned someone had stolen her identity, Wilburn stayed on her landline and picked up her iPhone.
I told Siri to call Suntrust Bank and she immediately shut up whenever I did that, she said.
Wilburn says her bank account was just fine and there was no car full of drugs in her name.
She reported the incident to the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.
The vast majority of people dont fall for it but the crooks rely on some peoples’ emotions outrunning their common sense, said Randy Hutchinson is President of the Mid-South BBB.
He, too, was recently contacted by social security scammers.
According to Hutchinson, most of the information scammers use comes from data breaches sold on the dark web.
Wilburn immediately hung up.
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How To Protect Your Ssn
Since a lost or stolen SSN number can cause so much damage to your finances, you should always do everything possible to protect it. First, you should keep your Social Security card in a safe place and only carry it with you when absolutely necessary. Do not keep it in your wallet and carry it all the time because that greatly increases the odds that it will be lost. Also, be very mindful of phishing scams so that you do not inadvertently give your information to a thief.
Keep a close eye on your credit report. If you notice anything suspicious or see accounts listed that you did not open, then you should take immediate action. Go ahead and place a fraud alert with the credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. You might even consider placing a freeze on your SSN so that no one has access to your credit file. Depending on the severity of the situation, you might consider seeking legal advice for the proper way to handle the situation.