Scam artists go to great lengths to trick you out of your personal information or money. As the video below explains, by educating yourself and knowing how to identify and report scams, you can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.
LEARN ABOUT AND REPORT SCAMS
The Federal Trade Commission has many resources to help you learn about scams, and report and recover from identity theft at the links below:
Please report Social Security-related scams at https://secure.ssa.gov/ipff/home..
If you believe you have been a victim of an IRS impersonation scam, please report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
3 TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Understand the threats. Fraudsters use several forms of impersonation, advance fee, and phishing schemes. They might contact you and claim to be from SSA, the IRS, or another government agency and request your information. They might claim that you have won the lottery or become eligible for an investment if you pay an upfront fee. They might design emails or text messages that look legitimate and request your immediate response. Be aware of these types of schemes, so you can identify them and guard against them.
Exercise caution. In general, no government agency or reputable company will call or email you unexpectedly and request your personal information, or request advance fees for services in the form of wire transfers or gift cards. Build a habit of verifying the identity of anyone who asks for your personal information over the phone, and say you will respond through the entity’s customer service channels. If anyone pressures you to provide information or money over the phone, it’s a scam and you should just hang up.
Secure your information. Store your Social Security card in a secure location; avoid carrying it with you. Shred documents that list personal information such as your Social Security number and banking information. Avoid opening emails from unknown sources or clicking on suspicious hyperlinks. Equip your computing devices with strong anti-virus software and maintain strong passwords. Regularly check your credit reports for suspicious activity.
RECENT FRAUD ADVISORIES
- January 2020: Inspector General Announces Civil Action to Prevent Social Security Scam Calls from Reaching Consumers
- January 2020: IG Warns Public About New Twist to Social Security Phone Scams
- November 2019: Social Security OIG Launches Online Scam Reporting Form
- October 2019: IG Warns Public About “Spoofed” OIG Media Line Calls
- May 2019: IG Warns Public About Social Security Advisory Board-Related Scam
- April 2019: IG Warns Public About Caller-ID “Spoofing” of Social Security Fraud Hotline Phone Number
- December 2018: IG Warns Public About Fraudulent Phone Calls Threatening Arrest or Other Legal Action
- October 2018: IG Warns Public About Caller-ID “Spoofing” Scheme Misuing SSA Customer Service Number
- October 2018: Inspector General Warns Public About OIG Impersonation Scheme
BEWARE OF FRAUDULENT LETTERS IMPERSONATING SSA AND SSA OIG
Phone scammers may offer to send official letters or reports by email to convince you they are legitimate government employees. Do not believe them! The letters may appear to be from Social Security or Social Security OIG, with official letterhead and government “jargon.” They may also contain misspellings and typos. Beware! You can view fake documents used in a scam by clicking the links below.
- Sample of Fake Social Security Administration OIG Letter
- Sample of Fake Social Security Administration Letter
- Sample of Fake Social Security Administration OIG Report
- Sample of Fake Social Security Administration OIG Abbreviations Page 1 and Page 2
FACT SHEET: BEWARE OF SOCIAL SECURITY PHONE SCAMS
Click the image to download a PDF:
FACT SHEET: PROTECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION
Click the image to download a PDF:
Original article – https://oig.ssa.gov/scam