You get a call from someone claiming to be with the Social Security Administration who says you may qualify for an increase in benefits. But, they say… “your Social Security card has been suspended due to theft or involvement in a crime.” They have some personal information they use to get even more personal information from you, such as your Social Security Number (SSN).
In almost every instance, this scammer will request payment of a processing fee to “unfreeze” your account so you can get additional benefits. The payment methods are unusual, such as gift cards or cryptocurrencies. But, “the good news”, they say, is that you’ll receive a refund from the Federal Reserve for the fees.
Result? Your bank accounts are drained.
This scam was reported 76,000 times last year for an average loss per person of $1500. A total of $19 million.
Scammers use spoofing technology to control caller ID. Always be suspicious. If you answer a call claiming to be Social Security, consider hanging up and calling Social Security directly at 1-800-772-1213 to determine if the call was legitimate.
Stay Informed. Social Security will never suspend your SSN or card. Also, the Social Security Administration will never demand payments by wire transfer, gift cards or cryptocurrency. Always be careful with your personal information. When a stranger calls to confirm your SSN or bank account information over the phone (or by email), it’s a scam!