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Tue May 14, 2019, 02:04 PM

Here's how a growing Social Security impostor scam works

To scammers, your Social Security number is gold-plated and diamond-encrusted asset, and now they have a new way to try to steal yours and get paid.

Consumer advocates are raising an alert about a twist to an old impostor phone scam. It's called the "Social Security impostor scam." A blog at the Federal Trade Commission recently wrote: "In the shady world of government, the SSA scam may be the new IRS scam."

Here's how it works:

You get a call with a warning that your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity or because it's been used in a crime. You are asked to confirm you number or told you need to withdraw money from the bank and buy gift cards.

The phone call may be a robocaller with a message to "press 1" to speak with a "support representative" from the government to reactivate your Social Security number. The scammers use technology to spoof your Caller ID to make it look like the Social Security Administration is really calling.

In the last 12 months, people filed more than 76,000 complaints about Social Security impostors, reporting $19 million in losses. The median reported loss last year was $1,500, the FTC said.

People are asked to give up the personal identification numbers (PINs) on the back of gift cards or use virtual currencies like Bitcoin to pay. (According to the FTC's consumer alert, people withdrew money and fed cash into Bitcoin automatic teller machines.)

After handing over the gift card numbers to the "Social Security office," one consumer interviewed by Fraud.org was told he would receive a refund equal to the amount he paid to unfreeze his account from the Federal Reserve. Of course, the refund never came and the man lost nearly $20,000.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/personalfinance/heres-how-a-growing-social-security-impostor-scam-works/ar-AABlpj1?li=BBnbfcN

19 replies, 956 views

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:06 PM

1. its amazing how gullible some people can be.


and those despicable con artists take advantage of that.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #1)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:12 PM

3. Watch out for the unknown + phone # if you have caller ID

They are the scammers

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Response to katmondoo (Reply #3)

Tue May 14, 2019, 06:24 PM

19. The scammers can spoof any phone number, including SSA, IRS, your relatives.

I get a lot of scam calls apparently from my area code and my exchange. Neighbors, obviously. Or not.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #1)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:16 PM

4. Yeah, no kidding!

Just the "gift card" part of it should be the biggest red flag in existence. I can't believe that there are people out there who believe the federal government would take payments in the form of gift cards.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #1)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:33 PM

7. Nice, blame the victim! Nt

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Response to drray23 (Reply #1)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:58 PM

12. Scams have been going on as long as humans have been around.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #1)

Tue May 14, 2019, 05:34 PM

18. Yep. That's also how we ended up with Trump in the White House.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:10 PM

2. The con, the scam, and the lie are now ubiquitous coins-of-the-realm.

I wonder why.

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Response to DemoTex (Reply #2)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:21 PM

5. Well, 1/3 of this country are willfully ignorant fools.

They are ripe for the harvest.

We found out just the other day that "The Wall Crowdfunding" thing was a rip-off scam. You would have to be almost too stupid to live to have fallen for that one.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:25 PM

6. This is one more reason why you should never answer a call

... if the caller's name is undisclosed or hidden. Most of these scams are robo-dailed and they might even be masking a foreign origin. But even when they are domestic origin, don't answer if the caller doesn't have an ID name that you recognize.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #6)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:49 PM

9. What is this ID of which you speak?

I'm probably the last person whose land line doesn't have caller ID.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #9)

Tue May 14, 2019, 03:20 PM

13. Most phones are digital these days

Your phone service probably sends a digital code telling you who the caller is, but maybe your old-style phone doesn't display it? If so, you should consider investing in a new digital phone because they don't cost much. Most are under $50 and they hook into your landline and give you a cordless receiver. Most units have a voicemail messaging system included in the set too.

So caller ID is a requirement these days, given all the scams and spam callers. You can screen them out and only answer the ones you want to receive. With caller ID it's possible to block certain numbers too, or send them immediately to voicemail.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #13)

Tue May 14, 2019, 03:46 PM

15. Nah

I've got a digital phone, I just don't pay for caller ID (the local phone company still charges separately for it). Quite honestly, the landlines days are numbered.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:43 PM

8. I've been getting some ominous sounding calls lately...

I have to keep reminding myself:

THE SS ADMINISTRATION DOES NOT COLD CALL PEOPLE ABOUT THEIR ACCOUNTS!!!!!

Much like the IRS, I'm pretty sure it is illegal for them to do that.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #8)

Tue May 14, 2019, 03:39 PM

14. Sometimes the SS Administration DOES call:

A few years ago I got a call from an SS person hesitantly asking for [my name]. When I said "this is she", with a sigh of relief, she then told me that my SS account had me listed as deceased.

Apparently, my SS number was incorrectly listed as belonging to long-ago railroad workers.

It was all straightened out fairly easily.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:53 PM

10. I expect they target the dumbest of the dumb.

Trump voters.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 02:56 PM

11. Well the SS office is only a block away, so

I'll come right down now and check on it. Good by.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Tue May 14, 2019, 04:23 PM

16. I've gotten that call...

...plus the one's for Apple...and I don't own ANY Apple products, plus the Microsoft scam. The last thing they hear before the dial tone is me laughing.

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Response to Xolodno (Reply #16)

Tue May 14, 2019, 04:50 PM

17. got that one about the computers, told them we didn't have any and they said I was lying.

they knew we had 2 in the house. Talk about invasion of privacy!!

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