The Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration are warning the general public about a recent scam that makes it look like you are getting a call from the SSA… only you really aren’t.
Here’s how it works.
The scammer calls you, and your caller ID shows that it’s the SSA calling from 800-772-1213. While this is the SSA’s real phone number (it’s their national customer service center), it is not the agency calling you.
People who have accepted the calls said the scammer identifies himself as an SSA employee. In some cases, the caller states that SSA does not have all of the person’s personal information, such as his or her Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim SSA needs additional information so the agency can increase the person’s benefit payment, or that SSA will terminate peoples’ benefit payments if they do not pony up the requested personal information.
What Should You Do?
First and foremost, hang up. Don’t give out your personal information. Genuine SSA employees will not threaten you for your personal information or promise to increase your benefits in exchange for personal data.
If you have any doubts, call the SSA directly at the same number (800-772-1213). The SSA will answer since that is their number, but don’t rely solely on the caller ID since, as this recent scam proves, it cannot always be trusted.
Report the Phony Call
If someone calls claiming to be from SSA and asking for information like your Social Security number, report it to SSA’s Office of Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or https://oig.ssa.gov/report. You can also report these calls to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
“This caller-ID spoofing scheme exploits SSA’s trusted reputation, and it shows that scammers will try anything to mislead and harm innocent people,” Acting Inspector General of Social Security Gale Stallworth Stone said. “I encourage everyone to remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence. We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens, so that they can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.”