The Social Security number scam — in which a fake officer from the Social Security office calls and claims there’s an issue with your number and you must make a payment to fix it — is not going away. As the New York Times reports, the Social Security office and the FTC claimed that they receive hundreds of thousands of complaints about this scam per year. The average loss from getting conned? About $1,500 per person. Here’s how you can avoid suffering that fate.
Let it Go
If you receive a phone call from a number you don’t recognize, it never hurts to just let it go to voicemail. This is especially true for suspected scam calls. Let the call go and then check the message. If it seems odd, delete it. If you do end up speaking to someone claiming to be from the Social Security office who asks for money, hang up. The Social Security office doesn’t call people asking for money. Any fraudulent numbers should be reported.
If you haven’t already, do what you can to cut down on spam calls. Register your number with the FTC’s Do Not Call list. Try an app that filters out fake calls. You can also contact your phone provider for more tips on reducing spam calls.
The Social Security number scam isn’t limited to phone calls. The scammers also use emails and texts. If you receive a suspicious email, never click on it. Delete it immediately. You can then call the Social Security office to ask if there is a real issue. Texts are a bit easier to avoid because the Social Security office will only send them if you opt in. If you haven’t opted in, you know the text is fake.