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Scammers are spoofing the Social Security Administration’s 1-800 number (which means it appears on caller ID that the actual federal agency is calling you) in order to get you to provide vital personal information.
How It Works:
The AARP Fraud Watch Network was recently debriefed by the Office of the Acting Inspector General (OIG) of a new scam that is becoming more prevalent by the day. The OIG advises that scammers are spoofing caller ID to trick people into thinking that the Social Security Administration is calling. The callers then attempt to engage with the recipients and get them to provide important financial or personal information.
Spoofing involves using technology to change the number that appears on caller ID to something different. In this case, the calls appear to be coming from the Social Security Administration (SSA), displaying the phone number 1-800-772-1213 (the SSA’s national customer service number), and the caller verbally identifies as an SSA employee. The typical stated reason for the call is to collect additional information to increase the person’s benefit payment or to prevent benefits from being terminated.
What You Should Know:
SSA employees do contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes and in some situations, may request the citizen confirm personal information over the phone.
However, SSA employees will never threaten you for information or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information.
The OIG has more information about this scam on its website. To learn more visit https://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/scam-awareness.
What You Should Do:
If you receive a call like this, hang up.
Report Social Security impostor scams to the Social Security Administration at 1-800-269-0271.
If you are concerned the SSA is trying to reach you, call them directly at 1-800-772-1213.
Alert family and friends about this increasingly prevalent activity.
Take care not to provide callers with sensitive personal or financial information such as your Social Security number or bank account information.
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family.