The Social Security Administration (SSA) scam is the number one scam reported to the FTC right now. People filed nearly 73,000 reports about Social Security imposters in the first six months of 2019, with reported losses of $17 million.
Social Security numbers are the skeleton key to identity theft. And what better way to get someone’s Social Security number than by pretending to be from Social Security?
This scam is often executed via robocall. The recording may provide a number for you to call to remedy some supposed Social Security problem, or you may be told there’s good news about an increase in your benefit. You could also receive an email that appears to be from SSA and instructs you to click a link to register for a free service that protects you from Social Security fraud. In all cases, what the scammers are after is your name, date of birth, and Social Security number.
Follow these precautions to guard against identity theft stemming from the SSA scam:
- Hang up if someone calls you out of the blue and claims to be from SSA.
- Set up a My Social Security account online and check it on a monthly basis for signs of anything unusual, even if you have not yet started collecting benefits.
- Don’t assume a call is legitimate because it appears to come from 800-772-1213, the SSA’s customer service line. Scammers use “spoofing” technology to trick caller ID.
- Never give your Social Security number or other personal information to someone who contacts you by email. SSA never requests information that way.
Stay informed and stay vigilant!
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