The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a warning about a new scam that you’re going to want to hear!
This Social Security phone scam involves a number showing up on your caller ID that appears to be from the SSA. But in reality, it’s from criminals intent on stealing your info.
Social Security phone scam reported across the country
This particular scam involves criminals using a technique called “spoofing.” This term refers to make an incoming call appear as if it’s coming from a number which it’s really not.
Specifically, scamsters are making the SSA’s legitimate customer service number — 1-800-772-1213 — show up on the caller ID.
Another Social Security 800 number that has been widely reported in this scam is 800-325-0778.
Three variations on this Social Security phone scam
There are a few main versions of the Social Security phone scam:
- Someone claiming to be from the SSA calls asking for personal info to round out your file.
- You’re told that the SSA wants to increase your benefit payment, but needs additional info to do so. This info can include name, date of birth, Social Security number, parents’ names and other personal info.
- You receive a threat to stop your Social Security benefits if you don’t hand over your info.
People are reporting this scam from all corners of the country, the SSA notes.
Here’s the reality…
The SSA will generally not contact you by phone for customer service issues.
However, in the unlikely event they do, it is possible that “an SSA employee may request the citizen confirm personal information over the phone,” the agency notes.
But what they won’t do is “threaten you for information or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information.”
Here’s the bottom-line: Never give your Social Security number to anyone making an unsolicited call to your home. Ditto for your bank account info or other sensitive financial data.
Because the threat of caller ID spoofing is real. Plus, there are always new variations on social security 800 number scams.
What should you do if you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the SSA and you aren’t sure if it’s a scam or not? Hang up the phone immediately.
Then call the agency back at what you know to be a legitimate number — 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) — to find out what they wanted.
You can also call our Consumer Action Center at 404-892-8227 for free off-air advice about how to handle these calls. We’ve seen an uptick in the number of questions about this particular scam. Our volunteers and standing by and ready to help you spot the ripoff!
Finally, go one step further and report any suspicious calls to the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General. You can do that at 1-800-269-0271 or online.
Check out these other Social Security stories on Clark.com:
- This is the age when Clark Howard plans to start collecting Social Security
- Are Social Security benefits going away?
- These are the only reasons to collect Social Security at age 62