Be Aware Of These Social Security Scams
Social Security numbers are critical in todays world, as many important life events are tied to them. Applying for a job, buying a house, opening a bank account all of these big decisions require identifying information, such as an SSN.
Because of this, fraudsters are always looking for new ways to garner critical information from unsuspecting individuals, and stealing SSNs are one way to do that. Social Security scams are nothing new, however, a recent uptick of scam-related incidents has put some people on high-alert. There are reports of scammers posing as the Social Security Administration and asking people to verify their social security number over the phone or pay a fee in order to get a fine off of their record.
Social Security scams are one of the most common scams, and we want to provide you with information to help you recognize fraudsters who are looking to take advantage of you or your family. Here are some tips to help you recognize Social Security scammers, as well as ways you can keep your information safe.
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.
Prepaid Cards Bitcoin E
The Government of Canada will not demand immediate payment by Interac e-transfer, bitcoin, prepaid credit cards or gift cards.
If you are sure you owe the Government of Canada money, there are accepted methods of payment. For example, the Canada Revenue Agency has a Payment options for individuals and businesses page that lists accepted payment methods.
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.
Easy Ways To Spot A Fraudulent Phone Call Text Email Or Letter
With some 65 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits, it isn’t surprising that scam artists invoke the program’s name in fraudulent phone calls, texts, emails, and letters. Their schemes typically involve impersonating the Social Security Administration in order to obtain, and then misuse, Social Security numbers and other personal information. Heres a rundown, by mode of delivery, of common Social Security scams, along with the steps to take to avoid and report them.
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?
Verify A Website Below
Are you just about to make a purchase online? See if the website is legit with our validator:
Are you a big fan of Etsy? Here are a bunch of fake Etsy-like websites!
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Lottery And Free Gift Card Scam
Oftentimes there are posts on social media claiming to give out free gift cards to popular stores like Starbucks, Target and the Cheesecake Factory or announcing that youve won the lottery. When you click on them, youre taken to a site that asks you to enter your information to claim your winnings. The information they ask for may vary. They could ask for your phone number to secretly charge you in data fees. A lottery post may require your banking information in order to wire you money, which they end up stealing from you instead.
Service Canada Scam Calls: How They Work
Many Service Canada scam calls are targeting consumers across the country these days. Most of them are automated messages from criminals claiming to be from the Government. These phone scams inform you that your Social Insurance Number is suspended or your name has been reported. Lets take a look at the fraud dynamics and see how these Service Canada scam calls sound like. Here is a scenario:
The phone rings. You pick up. An automated audio system goes like this:
Hello, this call is from Service Canada. We have an order to suspend your Social Insurance Number immediately as your social has been found suspicious for illegal and criminal activity. This is a time-sensitive matter. It is urgent to hear back from you before we proceed with the suspension of your Social Insurance Number. Press 1 to speak with our Service Canada officer now.
Please listen to the audio document below to hear a criminal who called our Scam Detector number:
Criminals change the phone numbers they are using almost every day. It happens as soon as they are exposed. If you have experienced any of these Service Canada scam calls feel free to post the phone number in the comment section
So, how does the Service Canada scam works? Lets take an in-depth look.
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.
The Importance Of Credit Monitoring
As fraudsters continue to vary their tactics and use more sophisticated techniques, its important to remain vigilant to protect your data identity. Be cautious when giving out personal information online and make sure to consistently monitor your . Doing so can help you spot any suspicious activity and respond to potential identity theft in a timely manner. To help, consider a paid subscription to a product like TransUnion Credit Monitoring. With TransUnion Credit Monitoring, you can get email alerts whenever there are changes to any of your accounts or when your report is pulled for a new line of credit, making it easy for you to stay up to date with your data identity.
What You Need to Know:
*Subscription price is $24.95 per month .
Also Check: Do I Get Social Security
Social Security Scammers Are Calling
The Federal Trade Commission is getting reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money.
March 22, 2019 By NICOA
The Federal Trade Commission is getting more reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration calling to get Social Security numbers and even money.
This is a scam that is growing exponentially each year. In 2017, 3,200 people reported SSA imposter scams, and lost nearly $210,000, according to the FTC. Government imposter scams made up nearly half of the 535,417 imposter scams reported to the FTC in 2018.
In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity, or that its been linked to a crime involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. The caller says your Social Security number is blocked and that they need a fee to reactivate it or to get a new number. The scammer will ask you to confirm your Social Security number. Remember, Social Security numbers are never suspended and the SSA never requires you to pay for one.
In other variations, the caller says that someone used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards and now your benefits are in jeopardy. They may warn that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that they can tell you just how to keep it safe.
Don’t Trust The Letterhead
This is probably obvious, but just because a piece of paper says Social Security or has government symbols in its letterhead, that doesn’t guarantee it’s authentic. Every year consumer organizations get complaints of direct mailings that appear to be from the Social Security Administration but aren’t.
In one such scam, the letter offers to provide the consumer a service — like obtaining a Social Security number for a newborn, notifying Social Security of name changes for newly married persons, or obtaining personal earnings and benefit estimate statements — for a fee.
These services are actually already provided by the Social Security Administration — free of charge. Sometimes these companies just want the fees , but sometimes they try to steal your identity as well.
Action: Throw out the letter and contact Social Security directly by phone at 1-800-441-2555 or visit the Social Security Administration’s website.
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Be On The Lookout For Fake Social Security Calls
Scammers are trying to trick you into giving them your personal information and money by pretending theyre from Social Security.
The number you see on caller ID may even look like an official government number but it is not.
- The caller may say there is a problem with your Social Security number or account.
- They may ask you to give them personal information like your Social Security Number or bank account.
- They may tell you to fix the problem or to avoid arrest you must pay a fine or fee using retail gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, wire transfers, or cash.
DO NOT give these callers any information. HANG UP immediately!
Social Security will not:
Learn About And Report Scams
The Federal Trade Commission has many resources to help you learn about scams, and report and recover from identity theft at the links below:
Learn about unemployment insurance fraud and how to report it to your state workforce agency at the Department of Justices National Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force page. The Department of Labor OIG has also created an unemployment insurance fraud Consumer Protection Guide with helpful information.
If you believe you have been a victim of an IRS impersonation scam, please report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Report violations of U.S. federal law or suspected terrorism or criminal activity to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at fbi.gov/tips.
Recommended Reading: Do You Have To File Taxes On Social Security Income
Regain Your Online Privacy
Navigating privacy issues in todays interconnected and digital world is difficult, said Rob Shavell, CEO of Abine/DeleteMe, an Online Privacy Company providing services that protect people online security and digital footprint. The ways in which third parties are collecting peoples information is constantly changing, and one way to protect your online privacy and avoid being scammed is removing your personal information from data brokers, search engines and the internet and protect and regain your online privacy. Scammers can easily use data brokers websites like Spokeo, AnyWho or InstantPeopleFinder to help launch their attacks. For just a few dollars, anyone can access your personal information, which can include phone numbers, addresses, court records and even lists of your family members and where they live. So, an actionable tip is to buy a service that removes your name, email, addresses and more from online data brokers who profit from collecting and selling this information, like DeleteMe, or follow the DIY opt-out guide to do it for free.
Watch: Social Security Scammers Call The I
Social Security scam calls are on the rise, racking up $45 million dollars in losses last year alone.
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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.
What To Keep In Mind If You Get A Spam Call Thats Allegedly From The Ssa
The Federal Trade Commission put forward a few key points in response to the social security scam threat. Its important not to press any numbers on your keypad even if the robot tells you to, and to hang up as soon as you can. The FTC also wants you to stay assured that:
- Your Social Security number will not be suspended
- The real Social Security Administration will never threaten your benefits, especially not over an automated phone message
- You will never receive instructions from the real Social Security Administration to wire money, send cash, or put money on a gift card
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Tricks Social Security Impostors Use To Scam Taxpayers: Internet Scambusters #275
Could you tell if you were about to become the victim of a Social Security scam? It can happen, even when you’re young.
Few of us know specifics when it comes to how Social Security works — to the average person it’s just a large government program.
We’ve never done an issue on Social Security scams, so we decided to rectify that today. Here are four of the most popular Social Security scams so you can be on your guard.
And now for the main feature…
Reporting Social Security Fraud
If you believe a phone call is from someone impersonating an SSA employee, you should hang up immediately. It’s important to report Social Security fraud and attempted scams. Reporting these attempts can help the SSA better understand the frequency and tactics of these fraudsters so they can guide and protect others. The SSA takes these scams seriously and your report may assist them as they investigate and persecute the perpetrators. If you mistakenly provided your personal information to the fraudsters, youll also want to take appropriate identity theft recovery steps.