Scammers Now Pose As Social Security Administration During Tax Season

If you thought you dodged the IRS scam this season, think again! Scammers are no longer disguising themselves as IRS agents but now have a new scheme, impersonating the Social Security Administration.

Contacting unsuspecting citizens across the U.S., or even spoofing numbers to look like the SSA, automated calls claim that due to fraudulent activity, a victim’s social security number will be suspended until the call is returned to verify the account. Scammers will make multiple attempts to catch a victim’s attention, using scare tactics as a final attempt. They threaten the victim that if they do not call back a federal agent will be contacting them.

While some citizens have made a point not to take the calls seriously, the FTC reported that in 2018 over 35,000 citizens reported the scam equating to about $10 million in losses.

“Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he’ll say your bank account is about to be seized – but he’ll tell you what to do to keep it safe. (Often, that involves putting your money on gift cards and giving him the codes – which, of course, means that your money is gone.),” reported the FTC.

To avoid becoming a victim of the Social Security Scam here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. If you receive a call about your Social Security being suspended and bank account being seized, it’s a hoax. The SSA will not request that you verify your number over the phone without you expecting their call.
  2. SSA will never call to put threatening that your benefits are in jeopardy. They will never request you wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards.
  3. Despite your caller ID identifying a call to be the SSA, be aware that the official SSA number is 1-800-772-1213. If you receive, a call from the SSA or this number but are unsure if you are speaking with an official SSA agent, hang-up immediately and call SSA directly at 1-800-772-1213 to confirm you are speaking with an official SSA agent.
  4. Never give out your Social Security number, bank account information, or personal identification to unexpected callers.
  5. If you have been a victim or have received a call similar to the SSA scam, report it to the FTC and FCC to help raise awareness.

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