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Avoiding Social Security Scams

Social Security scams are nothing new. However, recently they have escalated. In these common scams, crooks pretend they are from the Social Security government agency. Scammers may reach out to potential victims via calls, texts, or emails. It is important to note that the Social Security Administration is not in the habit of randomly contacting people. Additionally, they will not threaten or push for personal information. Nor will they require payments or ask for gift card numbers. Those actions are big signals of scams. People should not engage with these fraudsters and instead report suspicious activity  or theft of personal information to https://www.ssa.gov/

A most recent scam involves emails that look official but are fake. The emails may include look—alike logos and fake case numbers. One type of scam email states that the “allotted Social Security Number has been suspended within 24 hours because of malicious doing.” There is a termination letter attached stating the following (or similar verbiage):

We regret to inform you that your Social Security Number (SSN) has been suspended. This means that we have detected unauthorized access to your account and have taken the necessary steps to suspend it. They provide a number to call for assistance if you are not the person who accessed the account.

The scammers, attempting to gain your trust, also state the following:

We value your trust and will do everything in our power to prevent this from happening in the future. Thank you for understanding and we hope to hear from you soon.

Six key things stand out. First, the SSA will not send random emails. Second, the address from which the email came looks suspicious. Third, there were some misspellings and punctuation issues in the message above the attached form letter. Fourth, and most obvious, Social Security numbers cannot be suspended, revoked, frozen or blocked. Fifth, upon reverse searching the phone number, it is a high-risk one associated with scams. Sixth, correspondence that contains a threat, in this case to suspend one’s SSN number, is a red flag of a scam.

Nowadays, it’s easy to fall prey to scammers. The Social Security Administration warns that criminals continue to evolve and find new ways to steal your money and personal information. Thus, people must take extra care not to become victims. This means being cautious with correspondence received. Should you receive a random or suspicious-type email or message, it’s best to delete it rather than risk opening it or responding. Do not click on links or call phone numbers provided to you as these can lead you directly to scammers. Additionally, never engage with unknown callers, no matter how convincing they may sound. It’s best to simply hang up rather than risk putting confidential information into the wrong hands.

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Jeannie Huppert
2 months ago

Twice I got phone calls from liars saying my Soc. Sec. was in trouble, accused me of “money laundering”, & other trash. I heard them out to get as much info re: them as I could. Immediately after I hung up, I phoned Soc. Sec. Admin., told them. They gave me a “special” website to go & report fraud. If we do NOT panic, but walk thru S.S.A.’s steps, we’ll be ok. &, PLEASE do not be gullible. ‘Been there, done that, like with computer virus–singular. Have a great day!

3 months ago

Bad spelling in emails and letters and that pause and click on phone calls are a dead give away. Don’t play with them just delete or hang up.

3 months ago

We can trace down and find a sick cow in some off the beaten path ranchers field deep in the Montana outdack but walk pass scammers every day. They use familiarability against us to cheat and deceive us out of our hard earned cash and life savings, like using a local area codes as if they were local companies or offices. Years ago they told us progress was good. Today I’m not so sure.

Tim Toroian
3 months ago

If they are that stupid, why in hell are we letting them vote?

Patricia Jandacek
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim Toroian

It’s not necessarily stupidity to get caught in a scam! Most people recognize there are sometimes errors made and the SSA is a pretty vital part of most every adult’s life – you have to use your social security number to about get much of anything taken care of! So this is really a scare that many might, if not forewarned, will want to ‘get straightened out.’

Tim Toroian
3 months ago

Are people actually that stupid?

Patricia Jandacek
3 months ago
Reply to  Tim Toroian

not stupid – but most people are quite honest and are not expecting evil people to try to swindle them out of everything!

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