Social Security scams are on the rise. The latest involves an automated call where unsuspecting consumers are told they will face legal proceedings for criminal activities and fraud linked to their social security number. They are then asked for verification of some sorts of the number.
About the Social Security Scam
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this scam is becoming more popular than the IRS scams. As the FTC reports, the IRS scams are dropping in incidence, but the social security scams are soaring.
The FTC received more than 76,000 reports about Social Security scam calls in the last year and consumers have lost nearly $20 million compared to the $17 million lost in the IRS scam call spree.
Typically, consumers get a call saying there is either criminal activity associated with their social security number, that it has been suspended or that there is some other difficulty that warrants a verification of the number. Scammers have even gone so far as to even “spoofing” a phone number so it looks like it is coming from the federal government on your caller ID.
How To Protect Yourself and Your Identity
If you should get one of these calls, consumer advocates recommend that you hang up. Do not give out your information. Instead, call the Social Security Administration yourself at 1-800-772-1213 and verify whether or not you are truly being called or if you are being scammed.
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About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers’ State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!