Fraud and scam calls are unfortunately part of everyday life in the digital age we live in. Whether it’s the call urging you to extend the warranty on a vehicle, offering a free vacation or paying off your credit card. At a recent conference, there was a Social Security public relations speaker whose main topic was to talk about the Social Security scam calls. She indicated that people filed over 76,000 reports about Social Security impostors from April 2018 to April 2019, with reported losses of $19 million. About 36,000 reports and $6.7 million in reported losses were reported between February and April 2019 which is a drastic increase.
This scam is in the form of a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security. The caller claims Social Security needs additional information so they can increase your benefit payment, or that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. It may be a real live person or a robocaller. Oh, and your caller ID often shows the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) when these scammers call – but they’re faking that number. It’s not the real SSA calling. The crooks can make a call look as if it’s coming from a government off.
Either way, the called says that if you fail to resolve the issue by either giving your social security number or calling back a certain phone number, your benefits will be stopped or “frozen”. This scam is pretty scary because many people who are collecting disability rely on their benefit and the thought their benefit being cut off can frighten them into giving the caller whatever information they are asking for. With this in mind, here are some steps to protect yourself:
Remember, Social Security 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. Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Period. It is also a good idea to set up a My Social Security Account online and check it on a monthly basis for signs of anything unusual, even if you have not yet started collecting benefits.