Thursday, June 16, 2022

What To Do About Social Security Scam Calls

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The Investigators: What To Do If Someone Threatens That Your Social Security Number Benefits Are Being Suspended

Beware: Fake social security calls are latest scam to get your money
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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You Wired Money To A Scammer

In a typical wire fraud scam, a criminal breaks into the email of someone who you know, usually professionally — an attorney, realtor or business associate. He or she squats on the email until he or she knows how you interact with this person, and then strikes, sending you a message — usually an urgent one — convincing you to wire money to an unfamiliar bank account, in order to facilitate a legal matter, home transaction or vendor payment.

Usually, the bank account is offshore. Because the transaction involves email fraud, your bank won’t reimburse you. It’s a more involved type of cybercrime and for a good reason — because criminals get money wired directly to their accounts, and often very large sums.

Drop everything and call your bank. If you have fallen victim to this type of crime, drop everything you’re doing and contact your bank’s wire department to attempt to halt the wire. If you are successful, this can save you enormous headaches later. If you know the real identity of the receiving bank, you can attempt to contact its wire department as well, although the fraudster’s bank is usually overseas and may be more difficult to reach.

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Here Are The Keys To Identifying The Scam:

  • You receive a call from an “agent” someone claiming to be a Social Security Administration agent.
  • The caller knows some personal information about you, such as your name, address, phone number and the last 4 digits of your ssn .
  • The fake agent claims to be collecting taxes and then walks you through payment instructions, using debit cards, wire money transfers, such as Western Union Moneygrams.
  • If you refuse to pay, the fake agent then threatens you with arrest or deportation.
  • How Do You Find Out If Your Social Security Number Has Been Suspended

    Social Security Scam Calls

    Maybe youre worried thinking, I received a phone call saying my Social Security number has been suspended. If you receive this type of phone call, you can ignore it. The SSA does not suspend Social Security numbers, so you can rest assured that your number is still active. If you are truly concerned, you should call the Social Security phone number at 800-772-1213. You might even get a call or voicemail stating that an arrest warrant has been issued on your SSN, and you can ignore those calls too. You can also set up a My Social Security account to check your information at SSA.gov.

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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.

    How To Identify A Social Security Scam Call

    The first clue is an unsolicited call. Social Security will call you under certain circumstances, such as you have requested a call back, are filing for disability benefits or are undergoing a disability review. SSA employees will identify themselves.The Social Security Administration will NEVER:

    • Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended or offer to increase your benefits or resolve purported identity theft problems in exchange for payment.
    • Require payment via retail gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, or internet currency, such as Bitcoin or by mailing cash.
    • Demand secrecy in handling the problem and that you refrain from telling your friends, family or bank about the call.
    • Text you unsolicited to tell you about a problem with your Social Security number or benefits.
    • Email you attached documents containing your personally identifiable information.

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    Attorney General’s Scam Alert: Social Security Scam Calls On The Rise

    Concord, NH Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald issues a scam alert for New Hampshire residents, especially its older adult population, related to a rise in Social Security-related scam calls. Over the last month, the Attorney General’s Consumer hotline has experienced a sharp increase in calls reporting Social Security-related scams.

    New Hampshire residents have received scam phone calls from an automated message stating there has been “fraud” associated with the recipient’s Social Security Number. The message asks the recipient to press “1” or stay on the line to speak with an individual who can “help” or “assist” with the fraud. The recipient is then connected to an individual who requests personal identifying information, including the recipient’s name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. Those receiving this type of call have reported that the scammers use scare tactics and threatening language in attempts to obtain the personal information. It has also been reported that the scammers are leaving messages when their calls go unanswered, requesting that recipients call them back.

    The Attorney General’s Office reminds New Hampshire residents that the Social Security Administration will never:

    • Threaten you
    • Suspend your Social Security Number
    • Demand immediate payment, require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer or
    • Ask for gift card numbers over the phone.
  • 1-888-468-4454
  • Sim Swap And Porting Fraud

    Social security scam calls on the rise | KVUE

    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?

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    Unusual Forms Of Payment

    One easy warning sign of a scam, said Matt Campbell, CFO at Budgetable, is when the caller requests a payment via cryptocurrency, gift cards or wire transfer. Social Security will never request payment this way. The cost of falling for a Social Security scam is quite significant and generally in the thousands of dollars.

    Hang Up On Social Security Scam Calls

    Transcript

    Youve probably gotten calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. Watch how two people handle these calls and learn what you can do to avoid government imposter scams.

    Al Richardson:I got a phone call.

    Someone identified himself as a representative of the Social Security office. And that a warrant, a no-bail warrant, had been issued for my arrest. I’m 83 years old and it scared me to death.

    Monica VacaThe Social Security imposter scam is very widespread right now. What these scammers are trying to do is they are trying to induce a state of fear.They are trying to make you feel very very panicked.

    David Smalls:They actually said federal authorities including an armed marshal would appear at my door within the next 24 hours. That had me sort of feeling jittery.

    Monica:Sometimes they’ll rachet up that anxiety by telling you, that there are marshals, or police officers or sheriff’s deputies that are about to arrest you. That’s very very scary for people.

    So what they are doing is they are playing on your fear on your anxiety and on you wanting to do the right thing. That’s how they are going to next try to control the next actions that you take.

    Al: They told me to get in my car, drive to the store and get a Google Play card and put the five hundred dollars on it and give them the number.

    AL: Since then, I have told everyone that I know, and a whole lot of people that I don’t know.

    Report it to the FTC, at FTC.gov/complaint

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    Social Security Scam: Do Not Press 1 If You Get This Call

    SAN FRANCISCO Authorities are warning you of a growing phone scam that according to the Federal Trade Commission is already the number one scam being reported this year.

    In this scam, the caller claims to be from the Social Security Administration and says your benefits will be suspended.

    It will then prompt you to press 1 on your keypad if you feel this is a mistake.

    If you get a call like this, DO NOT PRESS 1, officials are urging you.

    Hang up.

    The FTC says the Social Security Administration will never call you to ask you to send or wire cash or threaten to take away your benefits.

    If you press 1, a scammer will pick up the phone and ask you for money or personal information that you should not disclose to anyone.

    According to the FTC, there have been more than 70,000 reports about this scam in the first 6 months of 2019, with $17 million in reported losses.

    Again, officials are reminding you to just hang up if you get a call like this and to remember not to give your SSN to anyone.

    If you think you are a victim of this scam, report it to the SSAs Office of the Inspector General or the FTC immediately.

    Latest News Headlines:

    Report Social Security Scam Calls

    Social Security scam warning

    Social Security Administration and its Inspector General Announce New Online Reporting Form for Imposter Scam Calls

    Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, and Gail S. Ennis, the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, announce the launch of a dedicated online form at to receive reports from the public of Social Security-related scams. These scamsin which fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problemsskyrocketed over the past year to become the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration.

    To combat these scams, Social Security and the OIG will use the new online form to capture data that will be analyzed for trends and commonalities. The OIG will use the data to identify investigative leads, which could help identify criminal entities or individuals participating in or facilitating the scams. Ultimately, these efforts are expected to disrupt the scammers, help reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims.

    We are taking action to raise awareness and prevent scammers from harming Americans, Commissioner Saul said. I am deeply troubled that our country has not been able to stop these crooks from deceiving some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

    Social Security will not:

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    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.

    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.

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    Missed Call/one Ring Scam

    The missed call scam or one ring scam is a type of fraud where scammers call your phone and hang up quickly. Your phone registers a missed call from a number you dont recognize. If you call the number to find out who called you, you may end up paying a premium rate for the call without warning. The same can be done using text messaging.

    How to protect yourself

    • Never reply to missed calls or text messages from numbers you do not recognize.
    • Dont call or send text messages to phone numbers beginning with 1 900 unless you are aware of the cost involved.
    • Read the terms and conditions of all offers very carefully. Services offering free or very cheap products often have hidden costs.

    What is Bell doing about auto-diallers?

    We block calls to several countries that have significant auto-dialler traffic. If you want to call to these countries, you now need to do it with an operators assistance Unfortunately, some companies have simply moved operations to regions where call-blocking is harder to put in place.

    How to report it

    • If you are the victim of a dialler infection. or find surprise charges on your phone bill, you should report it immediately to Bell customer service.

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