Most people know to protect their social security number as much as possible. If your SSN gets into the hands of a thief, it can do serious damage to your finances and credit history. However, there are scammers who try to trick you into providing your Social Security number. They try to make you believe that they are making a legitimate request and unfortunately some people fall for these scams. So how can you identify and avoid all the social security scams out there today? We’ll give you some valuable tips on how to handle these situations so you don’t fall victim to identity theft. Read on for all the details!
Types of Social Security Scams
Unfortunately, these scammers may be trying to approach you from all angles today. They will use all possible means to gain unauthorized access to your information in order to use it for their benefit. Here are the main types of scams and how to recognize them.
With the prevalence of robocalls today, these scammers can make thousands of fraudulent calls to Social Security instantly. They simply hope that they can get a person to respond and fall for their scam. Most people get multiple scam calls a day, so it could be easy to fall for one of them if you’re not careful. Many of these are often referred to as Social Security Administration scams. You can usually identify a scam call in several ways. First, some cell phones will even show Spam Caller or Telemarketer on the caller ID. If you see this, don’t reply. Later, if you answer the phone and hear silence for a few seconds, it could be a scam call. The automatic dialing system used by these robocalls from Social Security takes a few seconds to transfer to a live person when someone answers the phone. Callers may also threaten arrest or legal action, but don’t fall for it. In addition to phone calls, you should also pay attention to suspicious text messages. The popularity of text message scams has grown tremendously recently.
Since people today do so much business using email, scammers have become wise to this trend. They try to use phishing emails to get personal information from people, including their social security number. Be on the lookout for any suspicious emails. If you receive an email from someone you don’t know, don’t click on any links or open any attachments. Similarly, these people often try to impersonate someone you know. They will often send an email that appears to be from your bank or financial institution asking you to verify your information to correct a problem with your account. The problem is that the link will take you to a phishing website that allows crooks to collect your information.
There are some times when people still use traditional regular mail to try to scam you out of your information. Mail-in scams are pretty rare these days, but you should still be on the lookout for suspicious letters asking you to make a payment or verify information. Phone and email scams are much more common, especially since committing a scam through the US Postal Service carries additional fines and penalties for criminals.
How to avoid being scammed
There are a few things you should always do that can help you avoid falling for scam calls or emails from Social Security. First, you should be aware that callers have the ability to spoof your phone number on your caller ID. Phishing means that the number on your caller ID is not your real phone number. They can make it appear that they are calling from a phone number associated with the Social Security Administration. With that in mind, here are some tips.
The first tip is to immediately hang up any suspicious call. If you get a call and someone starts asking about your Social Security account or your Social Security benefits, you should hang up. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not call you or ask for this type of information unless you have contacted them first and asked to be called back. Thousands of these fake calls happen every day, so you can’t be afraid to just hang up on these scammers.
Thereafter, you should never give any payment information to anyone you don’t know. A popular phone scam involves someone calling you and saying that your Social Security number has been suspended. They tell you that they can correct the problem if you simply provide immediate payment over the phone. Even if you are asked to pay with a retail gift card, credit card, debit card, Internet currency, wire transfer, or any other payment method, please do not provide any payment or bank account information. So can your social security number be suspended? The answer is no. There is a similar scam with the IRS, but even those calls are bogus.
The most effective advice to avoid these scams is to simply stay vigilant and always be aware of any suspicious activity. Keep in mind that most Social Security fraud stems from bogus phone calls or emails from Social Security. SSA employees, like most government employees of similar government agencies, will not call you out of the blue. If in doubt, hang up and call the Social Security Administration. That way you can make sure you’re dialing the right number and talking to someone there.
What to do if you accidentally fall for a scam
Even those who are extremely vigilant can occasionally fall for a scam. So what if you do? Go ahead and grab a copy of your credit report and keep an eye on it. You should also probably sign up for a credit monitoring service so that you are immediately notified of any activity on your SSN. This goes a long way in preventing fraud and promptly correcting any problems that may arise. Also, go ahead and post a fraud alert on your SSN with the major credit bureaus. You might also consider blocking your SSN. If impostors try to use your Social Security number, they will not be able to get any new credit in your name.
Report scams to social security
You may be wondering, “Where can I report fake Social Security calls?” You should immediately report the scam to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at oig.ssa.gov and to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at Identitytheft.gov . In most cases, you should also go ahead and notify the local police. There are many consumer protection laws that prohibit this type of criminal activity and these scams should be investigated. If you don’t want to report this activity online, you can call the FTC’s fraud hotline at 877-FTC-HELP.
The bottom line
Social Security scams are happening more and more today, especially in the current pandemic. These scammers try to use fear and deception to get you to give up your sensitive personal information. You should be aware of these potential scams and make sure you always protect your Social Security number as much as possible. By following the tips here, you should be able to spot potential scams and avoid giving useful information to these scammers. You will be able to protect your social security number as much as possible.
Does Social Security ever contact you by phone?
Many people wonder, “Is the Social Security Office calling you?” Yes, but this comes with a caveat. Social Security will never contact you by phone unless you contact them first. If you called them and asked for information, they may need to call you back after further investigation. Unless you are expecting a call from them, they will not call you without prior interaction that requires follow-up. Random calls claiming to be SSA are bogus calls from Social Security.
What should I do if I think my Social Security number has been compromised?
You should get a copy of your credit report and continue to monitor it closely. You must also place a fraud warning on your social security number with the credit reporting agencies. Finally, you should notify the FTC that your SSN has been compromised so they are aware of the situation.
What are some warning signs that my Social Security number has been scammed?
Many people wonder how to check and see if someone is using their SSN. The biggest warning sign is when you notice activity on your credit report that hasn’t started. You may also see suspicious activity on your bank or credit card statements. If you receive any kind of warning from your mySocialSecurity account or from the Social Security Office about some activity you did not perform, this could also be a sign that your SSN has been scammed.