I got an email from AARP’s Fraud Watch Network the other day titled “What You Need to Know About the Social Security Scam.” And two days before that someone called me using that same scam!
Here’’s how it works — using my own experience and the info from AARP.
I got a call about 7 p.m. from someone who said he was calling from the Social Security Administration and that my SS number had been cancelled. After he gave me some nonsense as to why it had been cancelled, he asked for my SS number.
I’m not the smartest guy on the block, but I said if he was with the SSA, why is he asking what my SS number is. He then hung up.
According to AARP your Social Security number is one of the most valuable pieces of information a scammer can get. It opens the victim to a whole slew of scams involving identity theft.
You should know that the SSA typically will not call you unless you have already been in touch yourself. And SSA employees will never ask you for your Social Security number. If someone asks you to provide it, it’s a scam.
SSA employees will not threaten you with arrest or threaten to withhold funds or otherwise “freeze” your benefits if you do not give them information.
If you get a call claiming to be from the SSA, hang up. If you are concerned it may be a legitimate call, dial the SSA number (1-800-772-1213) rather than the number the caller provides.
If you get a scam call, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/complaint.