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Robocall Update: AMAC Warns of More Social Security Phone Scams

Robocall social security phone scamsWASHINGTON, DC – Robocall Social Security Administration scams are on the rise.  The Federal Trade Commission [FTC] says SSA telephone shakedowns specifically targeting senior citizens now surpass phony IRS calls, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

For the past few years fake IRS calls topped the list of complaints received by the FTC.  “But the new SSA scam is trending in the same direction – with a vengeance.  People filed over 76,000 reports about Social Security imposters in the past 12 months, with reported losses of $19 million,” according to the FTC.

AMAC president Dan Weber notes that at its peak, between October 2015 and September 2016, losses from IRS scams reached $17 million.  Meanwhile, in just two months, February and March of this year, the FTC received some 36,000 complaints from individuals who received Social Security calls. And, $6.7 million in reported losses were logged.

Weber says that “these con men are ‘phishing’ for Social Security numbers that can be used to commit all kinds of online crime.  They can use stolen SS accounts to take out loans in your name, leaving you holding the bag.  In addition, while they are at it, they often try to extort money from you.  Meanwhile, the solution is quite simple– just hang up.”

In addition, AMAC advises that if you get such a phone call don’t fall for the scam even if your caller ID shows that the Social Security Administration is calling you.  The SSA does not make threats.  In fact, you should never give out your SS number, your bank account number or any such sensitive personal information to anyone who calls you out of the blue– especially if the voice on the other end of the line is a recording.

Dan Weber also recommends that you simply hang up on such callers and then call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to report the incident.  He says the Social Security Administration has issued a procedure notification for those who might receive scam calls, which can be accessed on the Internet at this address [https://www.identitytheft.gov/SSA].

“Robocall scams are fast becoming the methodology of choice for tech-savvy crooks.  And, while we are each responsible for protecting ourselves from these criminals, the government has a responsibility, too.  To that end, there is legislation in Congress that seeks to address robocall scams.”

ABOUT AMAC

The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us], with 2 million members, is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.

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June Holland

It’s simple. Don’t answer any number you don’t recognize. If it’s legitimate, the caller will leave a message.

Rik

Another scam is being called and told I am eligible to receive a one time grant of $10,000 from the Federal Government to spend as I wish. They had my name, address and Social Security number which made it sound legit. Though I suspected something was wrong because the fellow had an Indian accent. So I told him well since you have my address, just send me the money. He said they couldn’t do that because they needed to verify that it was really me. So, they said I could pick the money up from a Western Union office. But, I needed to verify that it was really me, so I needed to send them $300 and then they would send me the money. … I said, no problem, just subtract the $300 from the money and send me the balance. He then hung up on me. They’re out there… Read more »

Pat Robinson

So these callers are crooks and Congress passing some bill is going to make a difference to a crook? That’s no different than the anti-gun people thinking taking guns away from legal owners is going to stop gun crime. Report the number of such calls and gov’t (who already has capability to track location and owner) can stop it pretty quickly. Anything else is just more throwing away tax dollars.

scheper linda

I have to answer, I ama rental Agent., so don’t answer unknown is not an option. However I did get a call and as she said there is a serious problem with your SS number. And …. I Hung Up. Checked my SS Account on line
All. Good. So No need to fear you maybe missing something important,
Check out your account on line.
But DO HANG UP.
KARTGIRL

Rik

Oh, and another scam is if you are a grandparent and have a grandchild working in or visiting a foreign country and you get a call from a “so called foreign friend” of your grandchild who is calling you because your grandchild is in jail and doesn’t want to call his parents who will be angry. So can you send him the “bail money”? … Don’t know how they get all this right information, but somehow they do. Call your grandchild first to verify if this is true!

Fixer48

As we get older it seems like the “street smarts” fade away. Folks that fall for these scams when younger are even worse when older. I’ve got to think there is some technology that is already here or will be developed to combat criminal calls. Something has to be done to protect seniors because obviously many don’t have the mental capacity to protect themselves.

Tom

congress will have trouble stopping the scam calls because many come from overseas, and US govt has no control over them. I often get calls wanting to lower my credit card rates to zero. (Never happen) and lower your balance. others say you have won millions, but you have to pay a fee, usually with a gift card you have to buy. Scam. some of my tactics. Tell caller there is a $50 fee for telemarketers. Click. Ask lots of questions. Which of my CC accounts do you have. What balance do you show. How did you get my info.Don’t give answers. I don’t have my card with me. I’m not home right now. That’s not my last balance. If you have time on your hands, come up with anything you can to draw out the call. They work on commission. The best way to end the call? ask “what… Read more »

Tom Stanley

I get about 8 of the fake social security calls a day. Each from a different state.

Les

I have received to such calls this week. The caller claims too be with the SSA legal office. I guess that is supposed to scare me. SSA sends letters, they don’t call.

Jorge De la Rosa

I found a solution that works for me. You would need a cellphone with caller ID and allowing different ringtones. I found online a ringtone called « Silence ». This particular ringtone is mute. Once I downloaded it into my phone, I made it my default ringtone. Of course I had to go to each and every one of my known contacts to assign them a regular ’sounding’ ringtone. You also need to remember to assign a ‘sounding’ ringtone every time you add a new contact.
When an unknown person or entity calés me, my phone doesn’t ring. The Screen lights up and the number is displayed, though. I answer only if I choose to do so.

archie higgins

Scamming an American should carry the ‘DEATH SENTENCE”!! Retired tax payers should have the opportunely to help put them down for scaming

Bob Wippermann

Beware of calls from your city code as in. XXX-YYYY. THE XXX is your city(or town) code. They use phone numbers that look like someone local but they are not even in your state. Another clue is a long pause before someone says something.

Juniper

I usually just don’t answer, I expect that they will leave a message, if they don’t Fine. However, I got a call with a friends name and number on my caller ID. Why isn’t it illegal to spoof numbers. I can think of no reason for spoofing except making mischief.

Roy Carroll

Lately I have even received from my own phone number showing up. I also received a legitimate call from my cell phone service fraud div who asked me to call customer service and ask for fraud div. I was given no number to call so had to get proper number. Someone was trying to buy 2 $1000 phones on my account.

Thomas H.

I only have a land line. About once a month, I will get a badly recorded message about how I am soon to be arrested due to… whatever. A few times, I was tempted to call the given number (for humorous effect) but never did since I heard that is a BAD idea.

Arteest

Since these calls originate off shore, we should send a few covert hit squads to track them down and make life more interesting for them.

michael ruppert

And lately sometimes I get calls about my medicrap (sic) account which I don’t have, even tho it’s a local area code.

Anna Petrocelli

This is for June, below. That is not always true, for the scammers have found out another way to make you answer your call. They have figured out who calls you frequently and have found out where that person is from. And you, instead of seeing the number, they introduce the state where this number comes from. It has happened to me. When my daughter calls, she does not show her number or her name but the state she is from. Since I only have one person calling me from that state, I answer with “Hi Hon.” Well, you got it. It is not my daughter. It is the scammer and one specifically associated with Microsoft. Look out for these calls.

Dorothy M.

I was receiving so many calls several times a day that I stopped answering my phone if I didn’t know the number. I tried blocking them but they keep changing a digit of their phone number so if you do block them they can sneak right on by. It’s so ridiculous, the amount of calls I get from them. I have doctors offices calling me so idk if it might be one of them that I got referred to or not. But I still don’t answer them if I don’t know the number. The doctors offices have my email and cell phone number so they can send me a message if they need me to call them. It’s a shame that it has to be that way.

C M

It is very insulting to refer to the scam artists as “con men.” I find it virtually impossible that the scammers are men 100% of the time.