Scam Looking for Social Security Numbers
Identity thieves hope to get your SSN and more
The Social Security Administration (SSA) warns of a recent phone scam targeting senior citizens. The phone scam seems to have started in California where the SSA Regional Office in San Francisco has received reports of the calls made to senior citizens asking for Social Security and financial account information.
Reports to the SSA have revealed a number of variations to the scheme. A 93-year-old woman reported a call from an unknown person informing her of a project involving a change in her Social Security number. An elderly couple reported that the caller informed them they were to receive new Medicare cards, and asked them to “verify” their bank account information.
Inspector General for the Social Security Administration Patrick P. O'Carroll advises seniors and all citizens to use extreme care when giving out personal information over the phone.
“You should never provide your Social Security number, bank account numbers, or other personal information unless you are extremely confident to whom you are providing the information. Social Security representatives generally will not make unsolicited calls and request personal information.”We recommend not giving out personal information if you are contacted by an unsolicited call. Instead, thank them for the call and tell the caller you will call the office directly yourself. In the case of the SSA, contact your local Social Security office, or call the Social Security toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, to verify the legitimacy of the employee and the information request. (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call the Social Security TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)
This is a scam that can lead to bank fraud and identity theft so take care. To learn more about identity theft, visit the Office of the Inspector General Social Security Administrations Identity theft--what do I do now? site or contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or 1-877-ID-THEFT.
You should report suspicious activity involving your Social Security number to the Social Security Fraud Hotline at http://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse, or by phone at 1-800-269-0271. (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call OIG's TTY number at 1-866-501-2101.)
Published August 28, 2012
Updated August 29, 2012