INDIANAPOLIS— If you get a phone call saying your social security number has been suspended, be very skeptical, says the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC has received reports about scammers trying to trick people out of their personal information by telling them that they need to “reactivate” their “suspended” social security numbers.
“The scammers say the SSN was suspended because of some connection to fraud or other criminal activity,” Lisa Lake, consumer education specialist with the FTC said. “They say to call a number to clear it up – where they’ll ask you for personal information.”
The federal government does not suspend social security numbers.
The SSN scam is a variation of a government imposter scam, in which scammers pose as a government agency to try to get your personal information.
“In this variation of the scheme, the caller pretends to be protecting you from a scam while he’s trying to lure you into one,” Lake said
Here are a few tips from the FTC to protect yourself:
- Never give out or confirm personal information over the phone, via email or on a website until you’ve checked out whoever is asking you for it.
- Do not trust a name, phone number, or email address just because it seems to be connected with the government. Con artists use official-sounding names and may fake caller ID or email address information to make you trust them. Besides, the government normally contacts people by postal mail.
- Contact government agencies directly, using telephone numbers and website addresses you know to be legitimate.
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