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Mon Jan 13, 2020, 09:49 AM

Inspector General Warns Public About New Twist To Social Security Phone Scams

https://blog.ssa.gov/inspector-general-warns-public-about-new-twist-to-social-security-phone-scams/

Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public that telephone scammers may send faked documents by email to convince victims to comply with their demands. The Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has received reports of victims who received emails with attached letters and reports that appeared to be from Social Security or Social Security OIG. The letters may use official letterhead and government “jargon” to convince victims they are legitimate; they may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes.

This is the latest variation on Social Security phone scams, which continue to be widespread throughout the United States. Using robocalls or live callers, fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account, or benefits. They may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets, or resolve identity theft. They often demand payment via retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency such as Bitcoin, or pre-paid debit card.

Inspector General Ennis urges continued vigilance against all types of phone scams no matter what “proof” callers may offer. As we continue to increase public awareness of phone scams, criminals will come up with new ways to convince people of their legitimacy. Social Security will never:

threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or fee;
promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment;
require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card; or
send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If there is ever a problem with your Social Security number or record, in most cases Social Security will mail you a letter. If you do need to submit payments to Social Security, the agency will send a letter with instructions and payment options. You should never pay a government fee or fine using retail gift cards, cash, internet currency, wire transfers, or pre-paid debit cards. The scammers ask for payment this way because it is very difficult to trace and recover.

If you receive a call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about a problem with your Social Security number or account, hang up or do not respond. We encourage the public to report Social Security phone scams using our dedicated online form, at https://oig.ssa.gov. Please share this information with your friends and family, to help spread awareness about phone scams. For more information, please visit https://oig.ssa.gov/scam.

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Reply Inspector General Warns Public About New Twist To Social Security Phone Scams (Original post)
at140 Monday OP
Farmer-Rick Monday #1
at140 Monday #2
Farmer-Rick Monday #3
CountAllVotes Monday #4
at140 Monday #6
Midnight Writer Monday #5
riversedge Monday #7
ManiacJoe Monday #8

Response to at140 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 10:03 AM

1. I think I have received every internet or phone scam out there.

Not that I ever pay attention to them. Even when my spouse was alive, we got the IRS scam and she got all upset. But then I reminded her that when we were audited we got a letter, not some vague phone threat left on our answering machine.

If it is really from a government agency, you will get a letter with a POC.

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Response to Farmer-Rick (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 10:09 AM

2. I get spoof emails all the time about my Paypal account,

credit card accounts, etc.

Never reply to any email unless you examine the return email address,
and it is legitimate. Even then, it is best to initiate your email with the
email address YOU HAVE in your contact list.

Banks and credit card companies have NEVER sent me a email asking me to
do something via return email or login to my account. I always login to any
account from my contact list, and never reply directly to any email received.

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Response to at140 (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 10:11 AM

3. Good advice

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 11:36 AM

4. I got a call last week

It was a man on the phone, a younger sounding person.

He said the words Social Security and I hung-up.

Social Security does not call people on the phone!

What a crock!!!



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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 05:00 PM

6. Loneliness is a problem among seniors

One of our friend is a 75 year old divorced woman, who will gladly talk with any phone caller.
She is lonely!

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 02:30 PM

5. Perhaps in addition to public warnings, we could track these miscreants down and jail them.

The government has resources to trace e-mails and phone calls. If enough folk are given high profile perp walks and prison sentences maybe scammers would look for other ways to make money.

I am a senior who gets from 5 to 20 robo calls per day. Surely stopping these calls would engender good will from a grateful electorate. Maybe a savvy democrat could promote this as a campaign issue.

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 07:01 PM

7. k and R

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Response to at140 (Original post)

Mon Jan 13, 2020, 11:48 PM

8. Posted to the wrong forum, but always a good warning.

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