INDIANAPOLIS — A growing number of people are experiencing a phone scam in which the caller pretends to be from the Social Security Administration.
The Federal Trade Commission said in 2017, they received 3,200 complaints about SSA imposter scams, and those people lost an estimated $210,000.
In 2018, the FTC received 35,000 complaints totaling $10 million in losses as a result of social security scams.
Here’s what one of those scam calls sound like:
(Audio courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission)
Typically, the scammers say your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity or because it’s been involved in a crime.
They may ask you to confirm your SSN to “reactivate” it.
As Call 6 Investigates told you last year, scammers are spoofing the administration’s 1-800-772-1213 customer service number.
Sometimes, the caller will say your bank account is about to be seized and you need to send money on gift cards to protect your account.
The FTC provided the following tips:
- Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
- SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.
- The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If you’re worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.
- Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account or credit card number.
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