A new scheme is targeting social security recipients nationwide. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Office of the Inspector General(OIG) received reports of “imposter phishing” nationally.
Social security disability recipients are targeted by scammers who call pretending to be a Social Security employee. The imposter cautions the recipient that their social security account has been hacked, and warns them that the agency is freezing their SSN assets. The caller asks the recipient for their SSN, alleging that they need the information for verification.
“Although these ‘phishing’ scams occur with greater frequency it is hard to imagine how anyone could prey on unsuspecting disability recipients” says Martin L Hoffman, a Social Security Disability attorney in South Florida. “We warn our clients never to give out their personal information to anyone on the phone. Call our office if you suspect that you might have been a target of one of these calls and we will help you in any way we can.”
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR BENEFITS:
- 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. When 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’ (fake) their area code. It may look like 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.
The Social Security Administration provides excellent tips in “Is That Phone Call From Us?”
If you come across one of these scams, please report it to the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or 1-866-501-2101(TTY), and then tell the FTC about it.