With increasingly sophisticated technology, scammers are having an easier time obtaining your personal information. Once they obtain your Social Security information, it can take a lot of time and headaches to reverse the damage done by such scammers. With advancing technology, and the evolving methods employed by scammers, it has become increasingly difficult to avoid being scammed. There are, however, important bits of advice that the Social Security Administration recommends to reduce your chances of being scammed. In this blog, we are going to look at what the Social Security Administration (SSA) recommends to beware of with scammers.
Half the battle is knowing what the scam is and understanding fraud. According to Oxford Languages, fraud is wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain. One element to fraud, in the Social Security world, is impersonating employees in order to scam individuals. Scammers will impersonate SSA employees to get your personal or financial information, but Social Security employees will never request your information in a digital manner (text, email, or social media) though they do use all three of these forms of communication. Earlier this week, a friend posted on Facebook that they got scammed and explained how anyone can create a Google Voice account to make calls from. When scammers get your phone number, with a Google Voice account, they can text and call you and may ask for a verification code to activate an account.
Scammers may also threaten you, demand immediate payment, require payments by retail gift card or promise a benefit increase. These are things that SSA will never do. It is important to be alert and aware of scammers and know what to do when they contact you with demands like those previously mentioned. SSA recommends that “if you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from Social Security, hang up and then report details of the call to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at https://oig.ssa.gov/.” You can place your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to minimize unwanted phone calls and “You can register your home or mobile phone for free. Visit www.donotcall.gov or call (888) 382-1222 to learn more.”
Social Security is aware that there are widespread phone scams happening where scammers pretend to be employees of the government. Remember to do the following if you receive a suspicious call:
- Hang up
- Do not give money or personal information
- Report the scam to oig.ssa.gov
Keep in mind, SSA may call you, but they will never:
- Threaten to arrest you unless you pay a fine or fee
- Suspend your Social Security number
- Require immediate payment from you by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer
- Demand secrecy in dealing with a Social Security problem
As an Employment Network, Mission Possible Employment Services is required to keep your personal information safe and secure. Social Security has specific standards for sharing and storing information digitally and via hard copy. We can only share client information with individuals that have been approved by SSA; we must password protect any digital files we share, personal information can’t be shared in the body of an email or shared via text message. Hard copy files with client information must be stored in in a locked file cabinet and in a locked office. Our priority is to protect your personal information and we’re here to answer any questions you may have.
For more information on Scam Awareness check out: