The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently cautioned that people have been receiving phone calls from scammers threatening that their Social Security benefits will stop immediately unless they provide personal information. Scammers have many ways to lure their victims into providing information and then steal their identities. Sometimes they call under a guise of helping to complete a disability application. Any request from SSA will always come as a written notice first. If a legitimate SSA representatives does call, they always provide a telephone number and extension.
Here are a few clues to watch for. A legitimate SSA representative will NEVER do any of the following:
- Call to demand an immediate payment;
- Demand you pay a debt without the ability to appeal the amount due;
- Require a specific means of payment, such as requiring payment with a pre-paid debit card;
- Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone;
- Threaten you with arrest or deportation.
If you receive an SSA scam call, do not provide any information to them. Instead, hang up immediately.