Tax Insights

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Calls from the SSA? Don’t fall for it

scam, social security, SSA, fraudYour personal information is a hot commodity these days. Fraudsters seem to develop new scams daily to try to dupe you into handing over your tax refund, your Social Security number and other sensitive information, so it’s no surprise we have another warning for you. The Federal Trade Commission says it’s seen a spike in the number of people reporting fake Social Security Administration calls – more than 63,000 fake SSA call complaints since January 2018 with victims losing $16.6 million.

The caller usually says your Social Security Number has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Scammers may ask you to confirm your SSN (a.k.a. give it to them) to “reactivate” it. Or, they may say your bank account is about to be seized and you need to put your money on gift cards and give them the codes so the SSA can keep your money safe. The real SSA will NEVER tell you to do this.

Don’t miss how to protect your money in a digital world

Keep these things in mind so you don’t fall victim:

  • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended and your bank account is not about to be seized.
  • The real SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash or put money on gift cards.
  • You can’t believe the numbers on your caller ID. Scammers can easily fake those.
  • Never give your SSN, credit card or bank account number to anyone who contacts you. Ever.

If you’ve received a call like this, you can report the scam to ftc.gov/complaint. If you already gave a called your SSN and you’re worried about identity theft, visit IdentityTheft.gov/ssa.

Elizabeth Bolt

Get in on the conversation.

Unfortunately, we cannot give free advice to non-clients by email, comment response, or phone call. Thank you! Read our disclaimer.