Warning: Scammers have been calling seniors pretending to be Social Security Administration representatives and are making threats to suspend benefits for those who do not provide them with the information they are requesting. The personal information, if provided to them, could easily be used to commit identity theft.
As part of the scam, the caller will indicate that there has been criminal activity linked to a beneficiary’s Social Security number and if it does not get resolved, it could put benefits in danger. During the call, you may be asked to confirm your Social Security number so that the “Social Security Administration” can sort out any problems related to your account.
The Social Security Administration will never call you and threaten to suspend your benefits over the phone. If you receive a call threatening the loss of benefits, hang up. Do not stay on the line, and do not share your personal information. Your best bet in a situation like this, after you hang up, would be to call the Social Security Administration at it’s main number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and speak with an agent directly following this contact.
If you are receiving Social Security benefits it is important that you recognize these types of scams so you do not fall prey to the con artists. Always remember to never share your Social Security number or other key pieces of personal information with anyone who calls you on the telephone or sends you an unconfirmed email- Or you may find yourself the victim of a scam.
If you have already shared your Social Security number or other personal information, and you feel like you have fallen victim to a scammer, be sure to report it at once. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a website dedicated to Social Security fraud, and sharing your experience could make it easier for them to investigate. They will also guide you as to what your next steps should be.
Whether it’s a call, text or email, the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration wants you to know that:
— Your Social Security number cannot be suspended, revoked, frozen or blocked. It anyone tells you that, hang up immediately.
— No government agencies — not the IRS, SSA or Medicare — will ask you to wire money, send cash or buy gift cards as a form of payment.
— Social Security Administration employees would never threaten to have you arrested or send the police to your home.
— You never have to verify your Social Security number to someone who makes an unsolicited call to you.
— In some cases the SSA may call you- if you have been working with the agency on some issue or claim. But just to make sure it’s truly the SSA calling you back, hang up and call their main number at (800) 772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).