The Social Security Administration (SSA) has recently issued a warning about a nationwide scam. Scammers call or e-mail an individual, say there is a problem with their account, and demand money or sensitive data. Sometimes the scammers threaten things like arrests or tell people their Social Security number has been linked to criminal activity.
In a new twist, some scammers have even been mailing documents on what appears to be official SSA letterhead. Officials say spelling and grammar errors are an indication that the letter is a scam.
Typically, the SSA will contact you by phone or letter if you’ve recently applied for a benefit, need to update your records, or have requested a call. However, the SSA will never:
- Tell you your number has been suspended.
- Demand immediate payment and ask for a credit or debit card number by phone.
- Demand you pay a debt without the ability to appeal it.
- Require a specific way to pay a debt, such as cash, a prepaid debit card or gift card.
If you receive any suspicious correspondence, the SSA’s advice is to report the fraud online at https://oig.ssa.gov/. If you need assistance with the website, call SAIL and we will help you report it online. You can also call 1-800-269-0271 between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (1-866-501-2101 for the deaf or hard of hearing).
Here are a few helpful links:
- Public Service Announcement on the scam from the SSA
- Fact sheet on reporting Social Security fraud, which you can print and keep handy.
- Information on the AARP’s free Fraud Watch Network
- 15 ways to protect yourself from fraud
At SAIL we want to do all we can to protect you from scammers. You can always feel free to call us at 608-230-4321 if you are worried about a phone call or e-mail you get and we will help you figure out what to do next. Your safety and security are our number one priority!