Getting Calls from Social Security Administration? Probably not. At least, not from the real SSA. But how many of you have gotten calls from someone who said they were the Social Security Administration? And maybe showed the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) or a number close to it on your caller ID? Lots, right?
Federal Trade Commission has seen a spike in the number of people reporting those fake SSA calls to us. Since January 2018, we’ve gotten more than 63,000 reports of this scam. Three percent of those people reported a loss – and they lost $16.6 million (with a median loss of $1,484).
The caller usually says your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he says your bank account is about to be seized – but if you go put your money on gift cards and then give him the codes, SSA can help keep it safe. (Of course, you never want to do that, because then your money is just gone.)
To report this scam, go to ftc.gov/complaint. But if you already gave one of these callers your SSN and you’re worried about identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov/ssa. And if you get one of these calls, remember:
- Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. Your bank account is not about to be seized.
- The real SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards.
- You can’t believe the numbers on your caller ID. Scammers can easily fake those. But if you’re worried, call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213. You can trust that number if you dial it yourself – just not on your caller ID.
- Never give your SSN, credit card or bank account number to anyone who contacts you. Ever.