The Social Security Administration has announced that social security phone scams are the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission. These scams have skyrocketed in the past year which involve urging victims make payments using cash or gift cards. While the SSA may call you, they not say or do the following items over the phone:
- Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended.
- Contact you to demand an immediate payment.
- Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash.
- Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.
- Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.
In addition to this, the Social Security Administration has received reports of changes to address and direct deposit information that beneficiaries did not make or had not authorized. The SSA launched my Social Security, an online identity verification process, to better protect your information. You will need two forms of identification when signing in.
Report any fraud to the Office of the Inspector General here. Phone scams are a popular method of stealing information and finances. Be alert when answering any phone calls!