Protect Yourself From Telephone Scams
Remember these tips to avoid being a victim of a telephone scam:
Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. You may register online or by calling . If you still receive telemarketing calls after registering, theres a good chance that the calls are scams.
Be wary of callers claiming that youve won a prize or vacation package.
Hang up on suspicious phone calls.
Be cautious of caller ID. Scammers can change the phone number that shows up on your caller ID screen. This is called spoofing.
Dont give in to pressure to take immediate action.
Dont say anything if a caller starts the call asking, Can you hear me? This is a common tactic for scammers to record you saying yes. Scammers record your yes response and use it as proof that you agreed to a purchase or credit card charge.
Dont provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information to a caller.
Dont send money if a caller tells you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card.
Sim Swap And Porting Fraud
SIM swap is a type of identity theft that occurs when a fraudster uses a combination of techniques to obtain your personal Bell account information. They use this information to satisfy our strictly enforced customer authentication processes to request a SIM change. After the SIM change, the fraudster will use your account for voice/text/data/roaming, and possibly to commit further identity theft fraud using your mobile number for authentication purposes such as at financial institutions.
In an effort to reduce SIM swap fraud, Bell has launched a new SIM swap authorization process that will give you the ability to approve or deny such requests.
Porting fraud is another type of identity theft that occurs when a fraudster obtains your personal account information to transfer your phone number from one service provide to another. All network operators adhere to the same number porting system administered by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. Porting fraud is similar to SIM Swap, as the fraudster is looking to gain control of your mobile phone number to facilitate other types of fraud which could include access to your banking and other accounts.
In an effort to reduce wireless number portability fraud, Bell as well as other wireless carriers, have launched a new port authorization process. Due to this new process, Bell Mobility will no longer be offering Port Protection services.
How to protect yourself:
How do fraudsters get your personal information?
Social Security Fraud Misuse Or Impersonation
|The Social Security Administration investigates reports like these:|
|Or call 1-800-269-0271.|
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Beware Of A Social Security Scam Phone Call
There have been recent reports of individuals receiving calls from spoofed local phone numbers that are supposedly coming from the Social Security Administration.
THIS CALL IS A SCAM!
The caller is pretending to be a government employee. They may threaten you and may demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or other legal action. DO NOT BE FOOLED!
Here’s what to look out for:
- The caller says there is a problem with your Social Security number or account, your number has been compromised, or it was stolen.
- Any call asking you to pay a fine or debit with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
- Scammers pretend they’re from Social Security or another government agency. Caller ID or documents sent by email may look official but they are not.
Social Security may call you in some situations but will never:
- Threaten you
- Suspend your Social Security number
- Demand immediate payment from you
- Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer
- Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash
Protect yourself, friends, and family!
- Don’t return unknown calls
- Ask someone you trust for advice before making any large purchase or financial decision
- Don’t be embarrassed to report if you shared personal information or suffered a financial loss
For more information about scams of this nature, .
If you receive a suspicious call:
Best Ways To Protect Yourself
Its important to note with these Social Security scam phone calls, emails, and mail requests, that this simply isnt the way the SSA operates. The agency does not reach out to consumers via phone or email. If youve already been in contact with them, you may get a call, but they will never call you and ask for your Social Security number or payment.
Here are a few ways to keep yourself safe from Social Security scams:
- Report any Social Security number scam attempts immediately to the Social Security Administration
- Pay attention to the SSAs warnings on the latest scams – up to date information here
- Do not answer or return calls from unknown numbers
- Hang up on callers asking for personal information
- Safeguard your Social Security number
- Never provide bank or credit card information to an unknown caller you have not verified
- Request written documentation from caller before providing any personally identifiable information, especially payment information
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Beware Of Social Security Phone Scams
The Social Security Administration and Office of the Inspector General continue to receive reports of scammers impersonating SSA employees over the phone, to request personal information or money. Imposters may threaten you and demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or legal action. Do not fall for it!
- SSA employees will NEVER threaten you for information, or promise a reward or resolution in exchange for personal information or money.
- Do not use caller ID to verify that the caller is a government employee. Many scam calls spoof official government numbers, such as SSAs National 800 Number, the Social Security Fraud Hotline, local Social Security field offices, SSA press offices, or local police numbers.
- Impostors may use legitimate names and phone numbers of SSA employees.
- If the caller demands sensitive personal information, payment via gift card or pre-paid debit card or wire transfer, it is a scam.
- If the caller makes threats when you do not comply with their request, it is a scam.
If you receive a suspicious call:
Social Insurance Number Call: How To Avoid
This scam has been perpetrated forever and is similar to other Social Security scams that typically go around in both Canada and the United States. Besides the SIN Call scam, be careful of variations such as the Social Security Administration Visit, the Social Security Payments Delayed and the Social Security Benefits Status. All these are mostly happening in the U.S., but rest assured the format is the same.
Watch the video below to see the Top 4 Social Security scams:
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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.
Social Security Scam: All Details Provided
Social Security Scam has become common now and nearly half of Americans have fallen to such scams in the year 2020 according to a survey by SimplyWise. Here is how to identify and avoid such scams.
With improved technological advancements, scammers are coming up with more power than before. Scamming tactics are also becoming advanced and it has become difficult to identify them. Before people identify and report such scams, crooks get successful in their evil purposes by looting innocent people.
Currently, a group of fraudsters is active who are pretending to be from Social Security. They pose as government officials and ask you to send money or share your important credentials that can later be used for identity theft.
Here is more about the Social Security Scam and the ways to avoid it.
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.
How Census Related Fraud Works
Some scam artists may pretend to be work for the Census Bureau. They’ll try to collect your personal information to use for fraud or to steal your identity. These scam artists may send you letters that seem to come from the U.S. Census Bureau. Others may come to your home to collect information about you.
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How To Protect Yourself From Social Security Fraud
As with all scams, the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to stay vigilant. If you receive a phone call asking for your Social Security number or other personal information, its best to hang up immediately. You may also want to consider adding the callers phone number to a blocked-call list to help prevent repeated nuisance calls.
Be aware, however, that spoofing allows scammers to use a succession of misleading numbers. So, unfortunately, blocking the first number that called you doesn’t stop further calls from different phone numbers.
Be sure that your information, including your Social Security card, is stored securely. Shred any documents with sensitive information rather than just putting them in the trash. If you access Social Security information online, keep your password to yourself and change it regularly to minimize the likelihood of your account being hacked.
It’s also worth checking your credit reports on a regular basis to make sure no one has compromised your financial information. A paid might also be helpful. Finally, try to keep up to date with the latest Social Security scams. The SSAs Office of the Inspector General monitors these and issues warnings as new schemes arise.
How To Stop Social Security Scam Calls
Here are the ways using which you can keep your Social Security Number Safe
1. Hang up the call if someone claims to be the SSA representative.
2. Be vigilant while responding to anonymous numbers and confirm the news from authorized sources before relying on them.
3. Use robocall-blocking app on your phone to get rid of similar scams.
4. Do not click on links that pretend to be from SSA. Check the links by simply hovering over the link to avoid such issues.
5. DO NOT SHARE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER WITH ANYONE
6. If you ever encounter such scams, do report it to the concerned authorities.
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Fake Email Headers And Phishing
Victims can also be reeled in by phishing emails that appear to be messages from the SSA. The emails may have attachments that resemble actual letters from the SSA, complete with the agency’s seal and similar font styles. The email messages may also direct readers to a fake web page designed to look like the real SSA website.
The motive is to obtain personal information from you, which you should never provide. The same clues of fraudulent intent as with the phone calls apply here. The SSA says that legitimate emails from the agency never seek personal information and do not adopt an alarmist or threatening tone.
The Social Security Administration says it will never use intimidating or threatening language in any form of communication.
Responding To Fake Tech Support Requests
Reputable tech companies and real security warnings will never prompt you to call a phone number. A legitimate company will not contact you by phone, email, or text to tell you there is an issue with your computer.
If you believe you may have been scammed, consider the following actions:
Contact your credit card company or bank right away to stop the transaction.
If you paid an imposter technician with a gift card, contact the company that issued the gift card to cancel the transaction and ask for a refund.
If you provide remote access to your device, run trustworthy security software to scan and delete anything that is identified as a problem.
If you provided your user name and security password to an imposter tech support technician, change your password right away. If you use the same username or password for any other accounts, change those as well.
If you do believe there is a technical issue with your phone or computer, it is best to first update your computers security and software. If you find an issue or need further help, work with a company you know and trust.
It is important to report any tech scams you may encounter with the FTC. The FTC compiles information from various complaints and uses it to build cases against scammers. Keeping your security software up-to-date and blocking unwanted calls, texts, and emails can help you avoid encountering tech scams.
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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.
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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How To Determine If A Lottery Win Is Fake
In general, if you have to pay, you didnt win. Signs of a fake lottery or prize scam may include:
Unsolicited calls or texts that you were entered in sweepstakes you have never heard of before.
A robocall or robotic message giving instructions such as to visit a site or call a number.
Someone posing or impersonating a government or federal official to convince you that the scam is legitimate. The U.S. government does not participate in lottery or sweepstakes prize money distribution.
A request to help someone claim a winning they will share by paying the fee to collect it.
A request to deposit a check or supposed winnings with instructions to return a portion of the check.
The pressure to answer or provide information immediately.
A request for payment or any costs associated with claiming the prize.
A request for personal information such as your name, address, Social Security number, or financial information.
A lack of legitimate sweepstakes details and information, such as the name of the company hosting the sweepstakes.
A rotating or inconsistent or non-specific prize for winning.
A rotating or inconsistent use of terms or descriptions of your winning such as being a winner, or a finalist, or potential to win.