Protect Yourself from Social Security Number Spoofing Scams
Nearly all of your financial and medical records are connected to your Social Security number, which is why data thieves are constantly trying to nab it for use in fraud schemes or for selling it illicitly.
Robocall scammers use spoofing to deliberately falsify the caller ID that appears on your phone, disguising their identities in attempts to steal your Social Security number and other valuable personal information.
Often the scammers spoof a Social Security Administration phone number so you’ll think it’s the agency calling. The SSA recently posted a warning about this scam on its blog.
There are simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of a spoofing scam. Follow the helpful tips in the FCC’s consumer guide on spoofing, such as:
Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on the agency’s official website to verify the authenticity of the request.
In addition to protecting your Social Security number, never give out other personal information such as account numbers, your mother’s maiden name, passwords, or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
Use caution if you are being pressured for information or immediate payment.
If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA or its Office of the Inspector General, you should report that information to the OIG online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report or by calling (800) 269-0271, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams: https://identitytheft.gov/ssa
If you feel you’re the victim of such a scam, report it to local law enforcement. You can also file a complaint with the FCC at no cost. Read the FCC Complaint Center FAQ to learn more about the FCC’s informal complaint process, including how to file a complaint and what happens after a complaint is filed.
Inspector General Warns Public About Caller ID “Spoofing” of Social Security Fraud Hotline Phone Number