Gale Stallworth Stone, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, has issued an official warning against fraudulent phone calls in which callers are claiming to be affiliated with the Social Security Administration (SSA), in an effort to retrieve personal information from unsuspecting citizens.
What To Look Out For
Over the years, more and more fraudulent calls have been reported all over the country, and the language used in these calls only continues to become more aggressive. As of late, scammers have converted to more threatening tactics, claiming to pursue legal action against and even arrest those who do not comply with their demands. However, rest assured these calls, and threats, are false. If you receive any sort of correspondence claiming to be from the SSA telling you that your Social Security number or account has been used illegally, and that you are at risk of being arrested if you do not call a secondary number to have the issues resolved, you are definitely being scammed and should hang up immediately.
Who’s At Risk?
Anyone can become a victim of this particularly heinous scam, especially if they have regular dealings with the SSA. It’s been reported that the scam artists have even found a way to spoof the SSA’s official customer service number (1.800.772.1213) to further validate their erroneous claims. It’s crucial to remember, however, that no affiliate of the SSA will ever threaten you for any personal information whatsoever.
What You Can Do/How To Protect Yourself
If you suspect a phone call you have received from the “SSA,” or any “official” commercial organization for that matter, is not legitimate, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to hang up. If you are unsure that the call was fake and want to double-check, you can always search for the administration’s real phone number online and call them back directly to confirm the information you were given is in fact accurate – they will be able to easily look up your account, and let you know if there are any problems or things that need to be resolved.
As always, the best way to avoid becoming a victim is to stay alert and maintain awareness at all times. Stone encourages all citizens to “remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence.” Together, we can protect ourselves and one another, but it all starts with making sure you never give out any personal information over the phone or online to anyone you do not know or trust. Call us, today, at 313.964.4900 or fill out the form in the sidebar or on our contact page, and learn more about how we can help you.