How to Tell If Calls From Social Security Are Scams

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(WETM – TV) – There is a warning regarding possible social security scams hitting local seniors.

One local victim – who didn’t fall for the scam – said he received a call from a recording of a person saying they were a police officer.

The recording said the victim’s social security number was compromised due to fraud activity at the southern boarder of Texas.

They then wanted him to press one to talk to an officer – who ended up trying to scam him out of his personal identification.

The AARP has important tips on how to not fall victim to a social security scam.

Warning Signs

  • You get an unsolicited call from someone claiming to work for SSA. Except in rare circumstances, you will not get a call from Social Security unless you have already been in contact with the agency.
  • The caller asks for your Social Security number — again, something an actual SSA employee wouldn’t do.
  • A call or email threatens consequences, such as arrest, loss of benefits or suspension of your Social Security number, if you do not provide a payment or personal information.

Do’s:

  • Do hang up if someone calls you out of the blue and claims to be from SSA.
  • Do be skeptical if a caller claims to be an “officer with the Inspector General of Social Security.” Scammers appropriate official-sounding and often actual government titles to make a ruse seem authentic.
  • Do set up a My Social Security accountonline and check it on a monthly basis for signs of anything unusual, even if you have not yet started collecting benefits.
  • Do install a robocall-blocking app on your smartphone, or sign up for a robocall-blocking service from your mobile network provider.

Dont’s:

  • Don’t call a phone number left on your voice mail by a robocaller. If you want to contact SSA, call the customer-service line at 800-772-1213.
  • Don’t assume a call is legitimate because it appears to come from 800-772-1213. Scammers use “spoofing” technology to trick caller ID.
  • Don’t give your Social Security number or other personal information to someone who contacts you by email. SSA never requests information that way.
  • Don’t click links in purported SSA emails without checking them. Mouse over the link to reveal the actual destination address. The main part of the address should end with “.gov/” — including the forward slash. If there’s anything between .gov and the slash, it’s fake.

For more information on Social Security Scams click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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