The Social Security Administration scam has turned out to be one of the most successful scams last year. It appears that scammers representing themselves as SSA employees have caused losses in the size of at least $16.6 million or more.
More than 63,000 reports have been registered since January 2018. We also have received multiple complaints from people sharing their stories, such as the following:
First call was from a number (800) 772-1235, automated message saying press one or call the social security at 704-508-4460 and 2nd call was from (800) 772-1234 and I didn’t answer, voicemail was also automated and said the same thing. I deal with social security on a regular basis since I have been disabled and I know that this is a scam.
just got a call from 1-800-772-1213 Social security has had suspicious activity. I pressed 1 to see if it was a scam. A man with more consonants to his name than I could write down and speaking with a heavy foreign(Indian, I believe) accent told me that they will be suspending my ss account etc. I should not hang up because I can get into trouble etc…
He gave me the real ss phone # and would I like his email address so that I can Google this and that blah blah blah…I hung up….
I’ve been getting different phone calls from someone touting to be from the department of SSN. They leave this message: “We Just suspended your social security number for some suspicious activity, if you want to learn more about this case, just press 1 and thank you.”
It should be noted that the 2018 reports regarding the scam are at least 20 times more than the reports from 2017, when money losses were approximately $210,000.
What is the purpose of the Social Security Administration Scam?
Shortly said, the scam is trying to make the potential victim either send money or reveal personal information that could be used in further scams such as identity theft and financial fraud.
It should be noted that the scam has many variations. In most cases, the scammer is pretending to be an employee calling to warn about suspicious activities.
To make the scam more authentic, scammers are spoofing the real number of the SSA. Nonetheless, chances are that victims are generally not acquainted with the number, meaning that the number will be unknown to them. This is the place to mention that answering calls from unknown numbers is not safe for a lot of reasons. Phone scammers are aggressively developing their set of manipulative tactics, so it is better not to risk it, even if you think you can recognize a scam when you see it.
Like with any other scam, there are several signs that give this one away. For example, real employees of the Social Security Administration will never promise increasing your benefits in exchange for personal information, over the phone. If you are in doubt, just hang up and call the number 1-800-772-1213 again – this time you will be calling the real Administration and you can ask them directly.
It is also a good idea to report spoofed and scam calls in general. If you’ve received a scam call from 1-800-772-1213, report it to SSA’s Office of Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or report it online. Such calls can also be reported to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.