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Social Security is NOT calling!

January 8, 2019 GMT

A few months ago, BBB warned about a Social Security scam where con artists pretend to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now growing exponentially. The Federal Trade Commission reports in 2017, they heard from 3,200 consumers regarding SSA imposter scams, with those people reported losing nearly $210,000. For 2018, more than 35,000 consumers have reported this scam, and have reported to have lost $10 million!

How the SSA scam works

Scammers call to say your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity or because it has been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Other times, they will say your bank account is about to be seized, but they have called to tell you what to do to keep it safe for a small fee. You just need to put your money on gift cards and give the caller the codes off the back, which, of course, means the scammer is just trying to steal your money.

And remember, your caller ID will often show the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) when these scammers call, but they are faking, or spoofing that number. It’s not the real SSA calling.

How to spot this scam

Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You should never verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.

SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer.

The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If you’re worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.

Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. This includes your bank account or credit card number.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: If you get one of these calls, tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Report it to the Better Business Bureau through the BBB Scam Tracker at BBB.org/ScamTracker.

For more about scams, go to BBB Scam Tips at BBB.org/ScamTips.