Social Security Scam Growing Rapidly

Published: Monday, January 7, 2019 - 5:00am
Updated: Monday, January 7, 2019 - 8:59am
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said a scam involving Social Security numbers is growing rapidly. In 2017, the agency said it received 3,200 complaints from people who reported losing nearly $210,000. In 2018, the FTC received more than 35,000 reports from people who reported losing $10 million.

The agency released an example of one phone call in which the scammer said, “We have received suspicious trails of information in your name” and “the moment you receive this message I need you to get back to me on my department division toll free number.”

Your caller ID might show the Social Security Administration’s real phone number, but it’s not them. Thanks to technology, scammers can display legitimate numbers.

The scam involves different scenarios. In one version, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime and been frozen and requests a fee to reactivate it. Or he might warn that your bank account is about to be seized and will instruct you how to withdraw the money.

The Social Security Administration will never call and ask for your number. The FTC advises people to never give your Social Security number or confirm your last four digits to anyone who contacts you.

If you suspect someone is pretending to be from the Social Security Administration, hang up and call the real SSA at 1.800.772.1213.

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