Beware of new Social Security scam phonecall

Evil people are ever inventing news ways to cheat you of your money. One way is to pretend to be the Social Security Administration.

In the last year, Americans filed more than 76,000 complaints about Social Security impostors, reporting $19 million in losses. The median reported loss last year was $1,500, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said.

David P. Willis reports for USA Today, May 14, 2019, that consumer advocates are raising the alert about a new “Social Security impostor scam,” which the FTC calls “may be the new IRS scam.”

Here’s how it works:

  • You get a call with a warning that your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity or because it’s been used in a crime.
  • You are asked to confirm you SS number or told you need to withdraw money from the bank and buy gift cards.
  • You are asked for the personal identification number (PIN) on the back of gift cards or use virtual currencies like Bitcoin to pay.
  • The phone call may be a robocaller with a message to “press 1” to speak with a “support representative” from the government to reactivate your Social Security number.
  • The scammers use technology to spoof your Caller ID to make it look like the Social Security Administration is really calling.

After handing over the gift card numbers to the “Social Security office,” one consumer interviewed by Fraud.org was told he would receive a refund equal to the amount he paid to unfreeze his account from the Federal Reserve. Of course, the refund never came and the man lost nearly $20,000. 

John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud with the National Consumers League, said that with numerous data breaches that have hit corporate America, fraudsters may already have accurate personal information about you, including your real Social Security number. The information is used to build trust and make the call seem more legitimate.

According to Fraud.org and the FTC, here are some important things to remember:

  • Don’t trust your phone’s caller ID. Scammers can make it look as if the Social Security Administration is calling and even use the agency’s real number.
  • Don’t give your Social Security number, other personal information, to a caller on the phone.
  • Social Security will never suspend your number, according to Fraud.org. If anyone tells you something different, you’re being scammed.
  • Social Security will never call you and demand money. No government agency will demand you pay something using gift cards or Bitcoin either.

If you have a question, check with the real Social Security Administration. The administration will never contact you out of the blue. The agency’s number is 1-800-772-1213.

Report government impostor scams to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

See also “Beware of cold calls from Windows Technical Support – It’s a scam

~Eowyn

Better than Drudge Report. Check out Whatfinger News, the Internet’s conservative frontpage founded by ex-military!

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Auntie Lulu
Auntie Lulu
1 year ago

I have solved this problem . . . I have a landline, which I never answer, and then I have my cell phone. All day long the landline rings, rings, rings, but no one ever answers it. Only rarely do I get these scam calls on my cell number. Thank goodness.

Dr Eowyn . . . thank you for giving us a head’s up on this latest scam. I shared it with others, because none of us can be too careful.

CalGirl
CalGirl
1 year ago
Reply to  Auntie Lulu

Auntie…I do the same…I have a land line w/caller ID and NEVER answer any number that I don’t know. I used to just keep the land line b/c that’s the only way my elderly (now deceased) mother would contact me, even tho’ she had a cell phone we paid for 🙂 But, even now since she’s gone, we keep it for exactly what you’ve described…..

DCG
Admin
DCG
1 year ago
Reply to  Auntie Lulu

We have a landline, too.

When a disaster hits, cell phone service will be overloaded. In Seattle during the Nisqually earthquake in ’01 you couldn’t get through on cells. These days, landlines will probably be the only way to get ahold of anyone as people rarely have them.

Here in tornado alley we gotta be prepared and that includes a landline for being able to make a call.

Goldbug
Goldbug
1 year ago

Social Security DOES NOT call you, period. These scams are only successful, because people are either greedy or ignorant. I once worked in the securities industry, and you would not believe how many people send big checks, sometimes their life’s savings, to a salesman on the phone, a total stranger (criminal) selling non-existent securities, promising unbelievable returns. Beware! Never send money to anyone contacting you by phone.

Silhouette
Silhouette
1 year ago

I will never answer pertinent questions over the phone, computer or any other electronic device.
If there were such an important situation….I will hang up and call them back, providing the phone number is legit.

SteveeD
SteveeD
1 year ago

This scam has been going on in Canada for a couple of years now and not just on landlines but cells as well. Most shops that sell gift cards are aware of the scam and will not sell ppl more than a couple hundred dollars worth to any customer and will try to clue in the customer onto what is going on with this scam. Seems the scammers always want you to buy Itunes gift cards up here.

Alma
Alma
1 year ago

Like Auntie Lulu I keep my land line, I have the cell phone. Two months ago I received a call from a Social Security “scammer”. I let him speak and called him out on it, he hung up when I told him he was recorded. I have not received any more calls. I block calls I don’t recognize.

Kathy day
Kathy day
1 year ago

It’s sad to know that there are still some people who fall victim to these scams nowadays. We should have been very familiar with these scams, since they have been around for years. I have just read some reports and complaints filed about similar social security scams at https://www.whycall.me/332-331-8595.html. We need to keep spreading the word and inform our family about these scams.

TrailDust
Admin
1 year ago

I received a couple of similar fraudulent calls recently. I knew it had to be a fraud, but I called the Social Security Administration about it, and found they confirmed my suspicions.

And this is just one of many tricks used now that phone spoofing has become so easy.

Chemtrailssuck
Chemtrailssuck
1 year ago

The joke’s on them, I don’t have any money, ha ha ha!
Thanks for the warning.

Lophatt
Lophatt
1 year ago

We get dozens of calls from these parasites daily. It drives me crazy. Somebody called with an African accent to tell me that Microsoft had money for me. They tell me that the IRS is gunning for me. They tell me that a relative I’ve never heard of died and left me money.

Glenn47
Glenn47
1 year ago

I just received one of these calls today using a recording. Knowing SS didn’t have that number, I hung up.