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Tips to Avoid Social Security Scams

Social Security

A 60-second read by the Baron Team:  Phone scams and particularly Social Security phone scams are often in the news. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently sent out a communication on March 9th for “National Slam the Scam Day”.  

According to SSA: On National Slam the Scam Day and throughout the year, we give you the tools to recognize Social Security-related scams and stop scammers from stealing your money and personal information. Share scam information with your loved ones:

Recognize the four basic signs of a scam:

  1. Scammers pretend to be from a familiar organization or agency, like the Social Security Administration. They may email attachments with official-looking logos, seals, signatures, or pictures of employee credentials.

  2. Scammers mention a problem or a prize. They may say your Social Security number was involved in a crime or ask for personal information to process a benefit increase.

  3. Scammers pressure you to act immediately. They may threaten you with arrest or legal action.

  4. Scammers tell you to pay using a gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire or money transfer, or by mailing cash. They may also tell you to transfer your money to a “safe” account.

If you are looking for ways to protect your information, here is a list of some common red flags and what to do from AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons). To learn more, read AARP’s article on Social Security Scams.

Receiving a call from the Social Security Administration (SSA). In only rare circumstances would you receive a call from the SSA, so if you do, be cautious that it might be a scam. Scammers can program their caller ID so that it looks legitimate on your end. If you receive a call from the SSA randomly (meaning you didn’t contact them and they are calling you back), hang up the phone. If you are worried if the phone call is legitimate or not, you can call the SSA’s direct number - (800) 772-1213 and ask.

The caller is asking for your Social Security number. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the SSA would not ask for your Social Security number. Therefore, never give out your number or any other personal information. 

Beware of any emails that you receive from “SSA”. Double check that the email address ends with “.gov/” According to AARP – “if there’s anything between .gov and the slash, it’s fake.” Don’t click on any links without double checking.

If you are concerned about how to detect a scam call, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has a recording of what a Social Security scam call sounds like

If you receive one of these scams calls, you can report it to the FTC

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Baron Team