It seems like scammers have become more aggressive and a frightening tone has gotten more than one otherwise sensible person embroiled in them. Crooks are calling and telling people that their Social Security numbers have been suspended and that they need the number and the person’s bank account information to issue a refund, says KKTV’s report “Social Security officials hope to combat scam.”
In addition to the aggressive angry voice is the fact that the caller ID has been “spoofed” or made to appear that the person is actually calling from the Social Security Administration or another government agency.
Nancy Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, advises people to be very cautious and not to provide anyone with information like their Social Security number or bank account information to unknown people either on the phone or over the Internet.
The SSA has launched a public service campaign warning about these calls in the hope that consumers will realize that the SSA never makes threatening phone calls and never asks for gift cards in payment. The campaign is being run in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General.
The scamming calls are nationwide. The message is clear: if you get this kind of a phone call, hang up.
While the SSA does occasionally call people, it’s usually someone who is working with the agency on an on-going matter, so that the call and the agent making the call is not a stranger.
Berryhill advises people that if they are contacted by someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration or the Office of the Inspector General, they should get the person’s name, their phone number and then hang up. If the same person calls again, hang up. It is more than likely to be a thief.
Contact the local Social Security office and find out if a call has been made to you. Never provide a caller with your Social Security number.
Some of the crooks are able to get information about people, including part of their Social Security numbers, and they call stating that they are asking only to verify the entire Social Security number. Again, if someone from Social Security was really calling, they would have that information and would not need it to be verified.
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Reference: KKTV (March 22, 2019) “Social Security officials hope to combat scam”