Last week one of our partners received the latest in a long line of scam phone calls to her personal phone.
The caller said he was from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and was calling because her number had been stolen and was suspended.
In most cases the caller presents the problem and the solution requires you to give him your SSA number. That’s all they need to cause trouble and separate you from your assets. Further complicating it for those who aren’t aware, the callers use “spoofing” technology to make the call appear to be from the SSA (1-800-772-1213).
According to the Federal Trade Commission, where such complaints are filed, these types of scams have grown exponentially, overtaking the fake IRS calls in both volume and dollars lost. In 2017, they received 3,200 complaints that reported having lost over $200,000. In 2018 they received nearly 35,000 complaints that reported having lost more than $10 million. 2019 is showing even more growth. A typical loss for those who reveal their loss to the FTC is about $1,500.
A few things to remember on how to protect yourself:
- Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended, you don’t have to verify your number with anyone and your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
- SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or ask you to send money or cash.
- If the real SSA number comes up on your phone, hang up and call if back to confirm any problems with the real SSA.
- Pay for identity theft protection.
- Check your credit scores periodically via the 3 credit bureaus.
If you are curious to learn more about this particular scam, click here – https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/data-spotlight/2019/04/growing-wave-social-security-imposters-overtakes-irs-scam
If you receive a call, you can file a complaint here – https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1