Social Security Scam Calls on the Rise
By Beth Florkowski of Fausone Bohn, LLP posted in News and Press on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
The Inspector General of Social Security issued a warning to the public, noting that phone scammers are impersonating Social Security employees at an alarming rate. According to a report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Social Security Scam increased dramatically in the past year. There have been over 76,000 reports from people receiving calls from scam imposters and roughly $19 million in losses.
The scammers use robocalls to reach out to people. The message begins by asking the listener to speak with a support representative to talk about a lost, stolen, or suspended social security number. Scammers even spoof caller ID to make it seem like the actual Social Security Administration (SSA) is calling.
Scammers use this aura of legitimacy and threats to steal people’s identity. Scammers will ask listeners to verify their name, address, and social security number. Once that information is taken, the call ends with a click-and your financial identity is at risk.
There are options available for those who fall victim to this or other scams. The FTC has an identity theft website to help those who have had their identity stolen and other resources on scams and imposters. The SSA Office of the Inspector General has an online website to submit reports of fraud for instances of scammers impersonating SSA employees. There are resources available for those wanting to protect themselves from this scam.
The FTC noted that one way to help fight against this scam is to talk about it. These scammers rely on intimidation and surprise. By recognizing this scam ahead of time and telling others, you can help people avoid being caught off guard.