The Social Security Administration (SSA) put out an announcement on Oct. 20th that there is a scam being reported of criminals impersonating the SSA offering to increase benefits. The Inspector General put out the alert and provided a sample of what the scam looks like.
The scam requests that beneficiaries share personal and confidential information through text, phone, and email. The scam leads people to a fake Social Security website.
SSA says, “Scammers are relentless in their attempts to lure you to their fake websites or to get you to respond in any manner to their fictitious offers. I urge members of the public to ignore unexpected messages and unsolicited offers. This simple step will help protect you from a scam,” said Inspector General Gail S. Ennis. “Also, be alert for unusual business practices and contact Social Security directly with questions or concerns regarding SSA matters. Never click on the link.”
- Do not take immediate action. If you receive a communication that causes a strong emotional response, take a deep breath. Hang up or ignore the message. Talk to someone you trust.
- Do not transfer your money! Do not buy that gift card! Never pay someone who insists that you pay with a gift card, prepaid debit card, Internet currency or cryptocurrency, wire transfer, money transfer, or by mailing cash. Scammers use these forms of payment because they are hard to trace.
- Be skeptical. Do not believe scammers who “transfer” your call to a government official or law enforcement officer, or who feed you a number as proof. Scammers can create fake numbers and identities. Do not trust your caller ID.
- Be cautious of any contact claiming to be from a government agency or law enforcement, telling you about a problem you don’t recognize or an unsolicited offer. Do not provide your personal information, even if the caller has some of your information.
- Do not click on links or attachments. Block unwanted calls and text messages.
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