Be wary of callers who claim to be from Social Security

Yet again, local residents need to beware of scammers trying to get their Social Security number or other personal information.

This time, robocalls in the area claim the person’s Social Security card has been fraudulently used. The call then provides a number to call to supposedly rectify the situation.

Social Security will sometimes call to confirm filing for a claim or to discuss other ongoing business with them, but in most cases a letter is mailed if a problem has developed, according to the Social Security Administration and its Office of the Inspector General.

A robocall, too, would not be used. And a local telephone number would not show up on caller ID, as apparently was the case here, though scammers also can “spoof” an ID to make it appear it’s from Social Security or a government agency.

If you get a call that appears to be from Social Security, to be certain, hang up and call SSA’s main number at (800) 772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Other scam calls may threaten arrest unless the person pays a fine or fee using gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, a wire transfer or cash.

The SSA advises:

— A Social Security number cannot be suspended, revoked, frozen or blocked;

— A legitimate government employee will not ask you to wire money, send cash or buy gift cards as a form of payment;

— The SSA will not threaten arrest or some other legal action;

— The SSA will not promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information or money;

— The SSA will not request personal or financial information through email, text messages or social media.

Those who receive a suspicious call from someone posing as a Social Security representative should:

— Hang up immediately;

— Never provide personal information, money or retail gift cards;

— Report the scam to Social Security’s law enforcement team at the Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov/.

Social Security will:

— Sometimes call to confirm the filing for a claim or to discuss other ongoing business with them;

— Mail a letter if a problem has developed;

— Mail a letter if a payment is required, with detailed information about payment options and — this is important — state the ability to appeal the decision;

— Use emails, text messages and social media to provide general information — not personal or financial information — on its programs and services for those who have signed up to receive those messages.


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