What’s nine numbers long, unique to you, and one of the MOST valuable things to a scammer? Your Social Security Number, of course. It’s an important part of the puzzle for identity thieves, because it unlocks their access to your credit. Scammers never stop dreaming up new ways to get their hands on your digits.
Their latest idea? The Federal Trade Commission has gotten numerous reports recently about calls from scammers claiming to be the Social Security Administration. Scammers will call and say there’s been a computer problem, and they need to confirm your Social Security Number. Sounds pretty fishy to us.
Other complaints said they came across spoof websites that look like the place where you’d apply for a new Social Security card – you can see where this is going – but they actually are set up to steal your personal information.
If you get a call asking for your social number, hang up and report it to the FTC immediately. It’s most likely a scam. As for the web, never give out your information on an untrusted site; ssa.gov is the only site that is real.
Here’s how the FTC suggests you deal with government imposters:
- Don’t give the caller your information. Never give out or confirm sensitive information – like your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number – unless you know who you’re dealing with. If someone has contacted you, you can’t be sure who they are.
- Don’t trust a name or number. Con artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them. To make their call seem legitimate, scammers use internet technology to spoof their area code – so although it may seem they are calling from Washington, DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.
- Check with the Social Security Administration. The SSA has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.
If you come across one of these scams, please report it to the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271/1-866-501-2101(TTY) and then tell the FTC about it.