Social Security Administration warns public of telephone scheme

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A closeup of US Social Security cards

(WTNH) — Calls utilizing spoofing – or the change identification of a phone numbers which mirror the answerer’s phone number or are disguised as originating from another location – are on the rise. 

As part of an effort to alert and educate residents of a new nationwide impersonation scheme, the Social Security Administration (SSA), in partnership with its’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG), have launched a Public Service Announcement (PSA).

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There have been many reports of fradualent phone calls being received from people who falsely claim they work for the Social Security Administration. Caller IDs may also be “spoofed” to reflect a phone number originating from the government agency. The public should remain vigilant about calls of this nature.

“We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or Internet,” said Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “If you receive a call and are not expecting one, you must be extra careful – you can always get the caller’s information, hang up, and contact the official phone number of the business or agency the caller claims to represent. Do not reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you.”

The agency has mentioned that Social Security employees do occasionally contact people–generally those who have ongoing business with the agency–by telephone for business purposes. However, Social Security employees will never threaten a person or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information. In those cases, the call is fraudulent and people should not engage with the caller. 

If a person receives these calls, he or she should report the information to the OIG Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

The PSAs will be heard across television and radio station in an effort to reach consumers.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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