Scammers are finding new ways every day to get money and information from you and the Social Security Administration is working hard to combat them.
In collaboration with its Office of the Inspector General, the SSA has launched a Public Service Announcement campaign to address a growing telephone impersonation scheme and South Windsor Police are also joining in the efforts to get the word out.
The new PSAs will air on television and radio stations nationwide, alerting the public not to share personal data with a stranger, calling to promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase.
According to the SSA, these are the reports officials are receiving about what the phone calls sound like. The callers are people falsely claiming to be Social Security employees and they are tricking customers by “spoofing” Social Security’s national customer service number to appear as the incoming number on a caller ID.
“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,” Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security advised.
Berryhill says if a customer receives a call they are unsure of, they should get the caller’s information, hang up, and contact the official phone number of the business or agency the caller claims to represent.
SSA’s Inspector General, Gail S. Ennis says the OIG appreciates SSA’s partnership in this national public outreach effort.
“Our message to the public is simply this: If you or someone you know receives a questionable call claiming to be from SSA or the OIG, just hang up,” Ennis urged.
While official Social Security employees may occasionally contact customers with ongoing business with the agency, they will never handle the calls as reported in exchange for information.
The SSA and OIG urge customers who receive a fraudulent call to report the information to the OIG Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
Listen to the new telephone impersonation scheme PSA below.