COLUMBUS – Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio is seeing a new trend on its Scam Tracker as the number of reports regarding Social Security Administration scam calls are increasing this year, and is warning people to be on the lookout for suspicious calls that claim to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
“BBB received a high volume of reports regarding the IRS scam calls in 2018, but this year we are seeing an increase in calls from scammers claiming to be from the Social Security Administration,” said Kip Morse, President & CEO of BBB Serving Central Ohio.
The scammer will call and say your SSN has been used to fraudulently apply for a credit card or commit another crime. In order to “fix” the situation, the scammer will ask you to confirm your SSN and other personal information. If you don’t cooperate, the scammer will threaten to take you to court, have you arrested, or have your SSN blocked or revoked.
No matter what the details are, this scam is designed to induce fear. Scammers are hoping that by putting consumers under pressure, they’ll reveal their SSN and other sensitive, personal information. Scammers can use SSNs to commit identity theft and file tax returns in your name to steal your refund.
To protect yourself and your identity, BBB has compiled the following tips so you can avoid being scammed:
• Never give personal information to unsolicited callers. If someone contacts you without your permission, refuse to tell them any personal information.
• Remember, the SSA will never call you asking for your Social Security number. They will never ask you to pay anything, nor will they threaten your benefits.
• Your SSN cannot be revoked. If a caller threatens to revoke it, it’s a scam. Hang up immediately.
• Don’t trust your caller ID. The internet has made it possible for scammers to use fake IDs when they call your home. If you receive a suspicious call, don’t make any important decisions based on what your caller ID says.
• Contact the Social Security Administration: If you are concerned about a call you received from someone who claims to be with the SSA, you can call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
To learn more about other kinds of scams, go to BBB.org/ScamTips.
If you’ve been targeted by this scam, help others avoid the same problem by reporting your experience at FTC.gov/Complaint and BBB.org/ScamTracker.