The FTC has received reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to get your Social Security number and even your money. In one version of the scam, the caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. They might try to alarm you with claims that your social security number is being linked to a car rental that’s been found with counterfeit currency, drug trafficking or even acts of terrorism. They might sympathize with you and say they know you weren’t really involved and they want to help you get things cleared up.
The caller then says your Social is blocked – and might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. Often times, they’ll ask you to confirm your Social Security number. In some situations, the caller will pressure you in to paying fines or fees to correct the situation. They might ask you to wire money, purchase gift cards (and then give them the numbers) or give them your checking/savings account numbers.
How can you spot a scam call?
• The SSA will never call you and ask for your SS number. You won’t be asked to pay anything. Nor will they ever call and threaten the loss of your benefits.
• The caller pressures you to pay a fine or fee to correct the problem
• The caller threatens you in any way (that your benefits will be lost/frozen, your accounts will be frozen, you will be arrested and so forth)
How can you protect yourself from a Social Security Scam?
• Never give your SS number to an unknown/unexpected caller. Don’t even confirm the last 4 digits
• Don’t give any callers your financial account numbers or any credit/debit card numbers
• Remember, anyone who contacts you and asks you to wire them money, pay with a gift card (or purchase gift cards and then send them the numbers/info off of the cards) or send cash … is a scammer
• Remember, fraudsters can make it look like they are calling from the phone number listed for the Social Security Administration. Don’t count on your caller ID to be completely correct on the caller’s info.
To ensure our valued members can recover from any identity fraud event, Beacon provides Fully Managed Identity Fraud Research, Remediation and Recovery services to all members as a complimentary benefit. If you become a victim of or suspect identity fraud for any reason, our program will help.
Please visit https://www.beaconcu.org/security/ for more information.