April 17 2019

FTC: Social Security Scam New ‘Leader’ in World of Fraud


There is a new ‘leader’ in the world of scams - the Social Security Administration scam.

The Federal Trade Commission said in a warning that this type of scam has topped the IRS scam in the number of reports. On top of that, victims reported losing $19 million to Social Security Administration scams compared to $17 million to IRS imposters in 2016, the peak year of the IRS scam.

“Have you gotten calls about supposed problems with your Social Security number from callers pretending they’re with the Social Security Administration(SSA)?” the FTC asked. “If so, you’re not alone. Our latest Data Spotlight finds that reports about SSA imposters are surging, while reports about IRS imposters have taken a dive.”

According to the FTC, scammers often use robocalls to reach you, then launch into a story aimed at tricking you into giving them your money, your Social Security number (SSN), or both.

“They may say your SSN has been suspended and you need to confirm your SSN to reactivate it,” the warning reads. “Or, they may say your SSN has been involved in a crime and your bank account is about to be seized or frozen, but you can protect your money if you put it on a gift card and give them the code. Never do that – your money will disappear.”

The Social Security Administration will never contact you out of the blue or tell you to put money on a gift card or, for that matter, visit a Bitcoin ATM, or wire money. If your caller ID shows a number that looks like it belongs to the SSA, don’t trust the number as scammers can fake their caller ID. If you’re worried, hang up and call the Social Security Administration yourself at 1-800-772-1213.


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