Everyday a social security scam is taking place somewhere, and anyone, young, or old, can be an easy target. Social security scams are constantly evolving, no one is immune to a scam. Scammers often change their scams so that you won’t be aware of what the latest scams are.
What Do Social Security Scams Consist Of?
Social security scams consist of many different schemes that people have come up with to gain access to your information, money, or credit. Different Social Security scams consist of, but are not limited to:
- Making false statements on claims
- Concealing events or facts
- Representatives misusing benefits
- Selling or buying counterfeit, or real social security cards
- SSA employees committing crimes
- Impersonating an SSA employee
- Bribing an SSA employee
- Misusing contracting or grant funds
- SSA employees violating ethical conduct
- Failing to inform SSA about receiving worker’s compensation
- Social security number misuse by terrorists
How Are They Evolving Continuously?
Scammers are getting craftier and bolder each time they attempt and succeed in scamming someone. Social security scams are constantly evolving, this is done by scammers, so they have a better chance of scamming you successfully.
- The Officer Of The Inspector General (OIG) receives reports about fraudulent phone calls from scammers stating that they are Social Security employees. They warn about a new version of this scam using emails. Victims receive emails with attached reports and letters supposedly from the OIG or Social Security. These often contain letterheads, and government markers to appear legitimate, however they may contain grammar or spelling mistakes.
- A new scam on the rise is one where scammers will call you stating they are from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and ask for personal information to “reactivate” your social security number after they have deactivated it for suspect activities.
- The Social Security Administration (SSA) warns about a new scam involving calls using an automated recording claiming to be the SSA. These calls state that your social security number is suspended for suspect illegal activities, and they suggest you call a phone number that is not related to the SSA to fix the problem.
How To Be Aware Of Social Security Scams
Social Security employees will contact you if you have ongoing business, recently applied for a benefit, receiving benefits, need an update to their record, or you have requested a phone call. If none of these apply to you, you should not receive a phone call.
Social Security Personnel Will Never:
- Demand an immediate payment when contacting you, or that you pay a social security debt without being able to inform you of the correct amount.
- Say that your social security number has been suspended, or deactivated.
- Require specific ways to pay, such as cash, prepaid debit card, or gift card.
- Ask for debit, credit card numbers, or any other personal information over the phone.
- Make promises about Social Security increases, or benefit approval, in exchange for money, or information
Tips To Avoid Social Security Scams
When you pay careful attention, you greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim of Social Security scammers. Always rather be safe than sorry.
- Learn how SSA procedures are conducted and processed. Scammers rely on your lack of knowledge about how the SSA operates.
- If you receive unexpected calls from SSA, hang up, block the number, or save it with the name scam.
- Keep your Social Security card in a safe place, not a wallet or a purse. Keeping it there makes it too easy for a criminal to steal and gain access to your information.
- Never share your social security number with anyone except your accountant or your company’s accountant.
- Always be aware of what is happening on your accounts, score on your credit report, emailed bills, and even taxes.
- Never give out personal, social security, or banking details over the phone.
Anybody can be a target of not just Social Security scams, but many others. If you would like to know more about the latest and not so latest scammer tactics, or if you think you’re a victim of a scam, visit our Anti Fraud News website to learn more, and take action.