How To Identify A Scam Call
There are legal enforcement actions which have been filed on your social security number involving fraudulent activities, said the pre-recorded message when one viewer answered his phone.
The message asks you to call them back or they will begin legal proceedings against you. If you do call, they will attempt to get you to verify or confirm your social security number. Dont ever give your social security number to anyone by phone, not even the last four digits.
The Social Security Administration will never call you and threaten you with arrest or any other kind of legal action. You should just hang up the phone on anyone who makes those statements. If you worry a call you received could be legitimate, you can call that office directly. The number to the SSA is 1-800-772-1213.
Hang Up On Spoofed Ssa Calls
If you get a call that looks like its from the Social Security Administration , think twice. Scammers are spoofing SSAs 1-800 customer service number to try to get your personal information. Spoofing means that scammers can call from…
A caller says that hes from the government and your Social Security number has been suspended. He sounds very professional. So you should do exactly what he says to fix thingsright?
How To Report A Social Security Scam
If you suspect youve been the victim of a scam or simply want to report calls or correspondence that you find suspicious, you have several options. You can call your local authorities or the OIG hotline or submit a fraud report on the OIG’s website.
You can also report the scam on the FTCs complaint website. Make sure you document anything you can to add to your report, such as a telephone number or website, the name the caller gave, the time and date of the call or email, what information you were asked for, and anything else that might help identify the scamster.
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How To Protect Yourself From A Social Security Robocall
If youre a typical American with access to a landline and/or cell phone, youve probably experienced an average of about 14 robocalls a montheach one more painful and annoying than the other. Thats exactly double than the 2018 U.S. robocalls figures, writes Business Wire. Robocalls, a type of auto-dialed automatic phone calls, are operated through a VoIP technology that allows those behind them to place a large volume of calls cheaply, fast, and irrespective of geographic boundaries. Even though not all robocalls are created equal , a significant number of them are designed to swindle innocent people.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the Social Security Administration is the U.S. government agency that holds the unfortunate number one spot as the official institution most targeted by impostors. In the first six months of 2019 alone, more than 73,000 reports about Social Security fraud attempts have been reported, resulting in an overall loss of $17 million.
How Not To Become A Victim Of Social Security Fraud Calls
Regulators report thousands of complaints about the calls. Here are some tips on protecting yourself, and your money.
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By Ann Carrns
Youve probably received one: A recorded call warns of a problem with your Social Security number. To fix it and avoid legal action, youre told, you must call back immediately and pay up.
Many people know to ignore these calls. But the criminals can be so convincing that some people fall victim to the schemes and end up losing money often by buying gift cards and revealing their PINs.
Its not clear whether the volume of calls is increasing, but the government is getting thousands of complaints about them, Gail Ennis, the Social Security Administrations inspector general, said in a call this week with reporters. The office has received about 250,000 online complaints since unveiling a new, dedicated digital reporting form in November.
Other regulators report a flood of reports as well. The Federal Trade Commission says its fraud network received more than 166,000 complaints last year about fraudulent Social Security calls, with individual losses averaging about $1,500. And the Senates Special Committee on Aging said Social Security impersonation schemes were the most-reported fraud on its fraud hotline last year.
Here are some questions and answers about fake Social Security calls:
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Social Security Impersonators Target The Elderly And Vulnerable How To Stop Fake Irs Calls Report Them
Social Security scams are a growing trend that has targeted U.S. citizens and permanent residents, particularly those of retirement age over the past year. They begin with criminals who pose as social security administration officials and make fraudulent phone calls to unsuspecting individuals. The main objective of course, is to gain their victims trust and run off with their personal information and cash.
Social Security scam calls have become so sophisticated that scammers are able to spoof the incoming call number so that it appears to be that of the official government agency in question. Once the intended victim answers, the scammer generally identifies himself as a Social Security Administration agent with all the identification necessary to gain the victims trust. For further verification, and as part of the fraudulent operation, they may ask the victim to provide a home address, Social Security number, bank and credit card numbers, and date of birth.
Once the scammers believe they have gained the victims trust, they move on to the kill. A common tactic used is to connect the victim and their Social Security number to a supposed fraudulent activity. Next, the scammers threaten legal action, in addition to possible arrest for non-compliance. In order to prevent the authorities from proceeding with such drastic measures, the victims are given the opportunity to settle their debts immediately.
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.
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Social Security Phone Scams
There is a widespread telephone scam happening right now across the country involving Social Security. Callers say they are from Social Security, and may say there is a problem with your Social Security number or threaten to arrest you unless you pay a fine or fee with cash, retail gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, or wire transfers. If you received a call like this and would like to report that information, please click the button below.
Social Security Scam Robocall
The general rule is thisif you are asked to give your social security number over a robocall, its not a legitimate call.
The most frequent types of social security-related scams involve an automated message informing you that your social security number has been compromised and linked to criminal activity, or that your social security benefits will expire.
Alternatively, the callers can claim youre entitled to a rise in your social security benefits, but would first need to confirm your name, date of birth, and social security number. Once they are equipped with this information, the scammers can hijack your Social Security account and drain your money out of it.
Protect Yourself From Robocalls
In the meantime, you can take proactive steps to protect yourself from robocalls. To reduce the number of robocalls you receive, list your phone number with the Do Not Call registry, download a call-blocking app to intercept robocalls and sign up for your plans robocall alert service.
You could also set up your phone to reject anonymous numbers automatically, which prohibits robocallers from leaving a voicemail. But with this option, you also run the risk of missing legitimate calls from loved ones who are hiding their number for privacy reasons.
Whether or not you use any of the tools, you should still always report any unwanted scam or spam calls to the FTC by filling out an online complaint. These reports allow the regulator to track scams and hold violators accountable.
What You Need To Know
But all of these are scams. Here’s what you need to know:
- The SSA will never call and ask for your Social Security number. It won’t ask you to pay anything. And it won’t call to threaten your benefits.
- Your caller ID might show the SSA’s real phone number , but that’s not the real SSA calling. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. You can’t trust what you see there.
- Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Don’t confirm the last four digits. And don’t give a bank account or credit card number – ever – to anybody who contacts you asking for it.
- Remember that anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash is a scammer. Always. No matter who they say they are.
If you’re worried about a call from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration, get off the phone. Then call the real SSA at 800-772-1213 .
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How To Report Charity Scams
Verify the name. Fake charities often choose names that are close to well established charities.
Dont give in to high pressure tactics such as urging you to donate immediately.
Dont assume that you can get a tax deduction for donating to an organization. Use the IRSs database of 5013 organizations to find out if it has this status.
Dont send cash. Pay with a check or credit card.
Fraudulent & Friendly Phone Calls
Social Security fraud calls arent always unfriendly in nature. In fact, some take a more positive spin on it. In those instances, the caller promises some type of benefit if you pay an application fee immediately by phone. Although its already established that the SSA wouldnt be calling you in the first place, its also important to state that they wont coerce you into paying money, either.
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How To Get A Social Security Card
Measures You Can Take To Prevent Identity Theft
- Do not routinely carry your SSN.
- Never say your SSN aloud in public.
- Beware of phishing scams to trick you into revealing personal information.
- Create a personal 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 contact your local 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 contact your local office to request removal of the block or make any future changes to direct deposit or contact information.
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Robocallers Claiming To Be From The Government Are Trying To Steal Your Personal Information
Scammers are using a Social Security Administration phone number in an attempt to steal important personal information from you, regulators warn.
The Federal Trade Commission, which regulates the telecommunications industry, says the incoming calls show SSAs customer service number, 800-772-1213, on caller ID, though they in fact can come from anywhere. This use of a legitimate phone number to fool consumers is known as spoofing.
The caller identifies himself as a Social Security employee and says your file lacks necessary personal information, such as your Social Security number. Or the caller may claim to need additional information in order to increase your benefit payment, or will threaten to terminate your benefits if you dont confirm the information he or she has.
This caller-ID spoofing scheme exploits SSAs trusted reputation, and it shows that scammers will try anything to mislead and harm innocent people, Gale Stallworth Stone, the acting inspector general of Social Security, wrote in a statement.
I encourage everyone to remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence, she added. We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens, so that they can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.
Report Scams To The Federal Government
You can report scams to the federal government. Your report may keep others from experiencing a scam. Government agencies use reports of scams to track scam patterns. They may even take legal action against a company or industry based on the reports. However, agencies usually dont follow up after you report, and can’t recover lost money.
Do not use the agency contact information included in scam messages. Use contact information in the federal agency directory to report other government imposters.
Report Disaster and Emergency Scams
Report coronavirus scams and other scams about disasters and emergencies.
Use the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s web complaint form or call .
Find more information on identifying and reporting coronavirus scams.
Report Most Common Scams
The Federal Trade Commission is the main agency that collects scam reports. Report the scam to the FTC online, or by phone at . The FTC accepts complaints about most scams, including these popular ones:
- Phone calls
- Demands for you to send money
- Student loan or scholarship scams
- Prize, grants, and sweepstakes offers
The FTC also collects reports of identity theft. Report identity theft online at IdentityTheft.gov or by phone at .
Report Online and International Scams
Report IRS or Social Security Imposter Scams
Scammers often pretend to work for the Social Security Administration or Internal Revenue Service . Common signs include:
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Five Ways To Recognize A Social Security Scam
In July, we reported on a rise in scam attempts where Social Security beneficiaries were being asked to pay to reactivate, protect, or restore their benefits. Currently, Social Security scams are the most commonly reported type of fraud and scam, and according to the Social Security Administrations Office of the Inspector General , these scams continue to evolve. The OIG is now warning the public that scammers are making phone calls and then following up with emails containing falsified documents aimed at convincing people to pay.
You may have received one of these calls either a recorded voice or a person falsely claiming to be a government employee, warning you of an issue with your Social Security number, account, or benefits, including identity theft. The caller may threaten arrest or other legal action, or they may offer to increase benefits, protect your assets, or resolve identity theft if you provide payment using a retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency such as Bitcoin, or a pre-paid debit card.
How To Protect Yourself From Ponzi Schemes
Keep these tips in mind to protect yourself from Ponzi schemes:
Be wary of any investment that regularly pays positive returns regardless of what the overall market is doing.
Avoid investments if you do not understand them or cannot get complete information about them.
Be alert to account statement errors, which may be a sign of investment fraud.
Be suspicious if you do not receive a payment or have difficulty cashing out.
Do not put your money in investments that promise big returns with little to no risk.
Do not contribute to any investment that is not registered with the SEC or with state regulators.
Do not get financially involved with any unlicensed investment professional or unregistered firm.
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Common Types Of Social Security Scams
There are several types of scams targeting those with Social Security numbers, but they often have the same goal: to convince you to give sensitive information. The caller may request personal information like your Social Security number or date of birth. In some instances, the caller wants money and will try to coerce you into paying money via gift cards, prepaid debit cards, cash, or other methods.
Choose Work Shares A Message From Social Security
Be on the lookout for fake Social Security calls. Have you ever received a threatening call from someone claiming to be someone you trust, like a government official? Have you been asked for your Social Security Number or other personal information?
These calls are not from Social Security! There are many telephone scams happening now, with the goal of tricking you into sharing your personal information and money. Don’t be fooled!
Sometimes, scammers pretend they’re from Social Security. The number you see on caller ID may even look like an official government number but it’s not. The caller may say there is a problem with your Social Security number or account or ask you to give them personal information like your Social Security Number or bank account. They may tell you that you must pay a fine using retail gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, wire transfers or cash to fix the problem or to avoid arrest.
These calls are not from the Social Security Administration. Use these tips to help you protect yourself.
Social Security will not:
Social Security will:
If you receive a suspicious call from someone who says they are from Social Security, please:
- Hang up right away.
- Never give your personal information, money, or retail gift cards.
- Report the scam at oig.ssa.gov/ to Social Security’s law enforcement team at the Office of the Inspector General .
If you’re not sure if a call or piece of mail is from Social Security, call 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 to check.
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