Beware: SSA Phone Scam
There is a phone scam that has been going around for a few years but seems to be happening more and more. In fact, it just happened to OBL Partner Lindsay Osterhout the other day! Lindsay said the call says it’s from “United States” and tells you to “press one” and then has an automated message that says “This call is from the Department of Social Security Administration. The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspended your SSN because we found some suspicious activity. If you want to know about this case, press one”. Once you press one, they will likely ask for your social security number. Other calls may say they are calling from the “Inspector General” or they are calling from the Social Security Office and may threaten to suspend benefits if payment is not received. Most, if not all, of the scam calls are automated.
The Social Security Administration has released several warnings to the public about these calls and instructs citizens to stay vigilant. How do you know whether the call is really from SSA or not? SSA will never do any of the following:
- Call you to demand an immediate payment;
- Demand that you pay a debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe;
- Require a specific means of payment, such as requiring you to pay with a prepaid debit card;
- Ask you for your personal information or credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
- Threaten you with arrest or deportation.
SSA instructs citizens who receive a suspicious call to hang up immediately and to report Social Security impersonations to the Office of Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.