Across the country there have been reports of scam calls from the Social Security Administration. Well actually not from SSA, but from scammers posing as SSA employees. These scammers are trying to trick us into giving them our personal information, like our social security number and bank account number. Recently, these scammers have become even more convincing by using the actual SSA phone number to register on our caller ID, banking on us automatically assuming that the call is legit. However, we must pay close attention to the types of questions that are being asked, which will tip you off to whether or not it’s a scammer call. Below are some examples of scammer calls:
- They’ll ask you to verify part of or your entire social security number.
- They’ll tell you that you must make a payment immediately over the phone.
- They’ll tell you that an arrest warrant will be sent if you do not pay immediately.
- They’ll advise you to transfer all of your money to a gift card and then give them the card number.
- They’ll tell you your bank accounts will be seized if you do not pay immediately.
- They’ll ask for your bank information to send you additional funds.
- They’ll send an email asking you to click on a link to update your personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission reported that in 2018 35,000 people were scammed and lost approximately $10 million.
Here are some things to remember when you are answering legitimate calls from SSA:
- They will never ask for your social security number over the phone, so don’t give it out!
- They will never ask for your bank account number over the phone, so again don’t give it out!
- SSA will not send you an email asking you to provide them with your personal information.
If you are unsure if the call that you have received from SSA is a scam, simply hang up the phone and call SSA back. Even if your caller ID shows the SSA number, if it’s a scam then whomever you are speaking to is not an SSA employee. If you call the SSA number you will be able to speak with a real employee who can verify whether or not that call was real or a scam. Don’t worry about being rude, it is better to rudely hang up the phone and call back and apologize than to lose all of your money.