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How to avoid getting scammed by a fake Social Security call

Posted at 2:13 PM, Sep 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-08 15:13:31-04

If you get a call telling you that your Social Security number is being suspended, watch out. This is likely a scam.

In the past few weeks, TODAY'S TMJ4 Call 4 Action has seen an increase in the number of people scammed by fake calls telling them that their Social Security number had been suspended. In some cases, caller I.D. is spoofed with the actual phone number for Social Security appearing in the display. The call contains a recorded message, claiming that your Social Security number is being tied to a trail of crimes, and that if you do not call a specified number to verify your information, you will be arrested. But here are the dangers of calling back:

When calling this specified number, the scammer asks you to provide personal information to verify your identity. This information could be used to steal your identity.

The scammer also tells potential victims that in order to resolve things, they need to withdraw money from their bank and deposit these funds on to prepaid debit or gift cards such as iTunes cards. The scammer then asks for information from these cards that is used to drain funds, leaving the consumer with little or no recourse for getting their money back.

If you get a call like this, do not provide any personal information nor take any action specified in the call until you can check things out with a legitimate source. If you are not sure if the call is legitimate, or you fear that you have been scammed, contact consumer agencies like the Federal Trade Commission or our Call 4 Action office for help.