What you should know to avoid social security scams

Reporter: Rich Kolko
Published: Updated:
Social security card. Photo via WTAE Pittsburgh.

Social Security scams are prevalent here in Southwest Florida.

People’s phones ring often with the caller making claims about the criminal or fraudulent use of your social security number and potential legal action against you.

They often say bank accounts have been opened in your name. Be assured, they are scams. Do not send money. Do not send gift cards.

The next question we get here at WINK News is, “What can I do?”

Well, you can always report it to law enforcement or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center IC3. But now, there is something else you can do.

Recently, the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration launched a new online scam reporting form. The Inspector General expects that the data collected from this form will ultimately cut down on the number of scammers, disrupt the scheme and reduce this fraud.

Remember, the Social Security Administration will not telephone you and ask for information. They will send a letter.

Here are a few more things the Social Security Administration will not do, as stated in their press release.

Social Security will not:

  • Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended.
  • Contact you to demand immediate payment.
  • Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash.
  • Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.
  • Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.

We want everyone to avoid these cybercriminals and stay safe and secure. Some simple advice, if you get the call, just HANG UP!

Check out the release from the Social Security Inspector General and link to the FBI’s IC3 and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

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