Recent social security scam reports skyrocket; experts warn not to fall for it
SOUTH BEND, Ind. –
Impersonating a government official isn’t a new way to scam someone, but there is a newer scam call claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. Reports of this new scam are skyrocketing according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The call starts by saying, “This call is from the department of social security administration. The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspend your social security number because we found some suspicious activity.”
The call will then ask you to press one to learn more. It can sound alarming, but the St. Joseph County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Eric Tamashasky says you shouldn’t be alarmed.
“If you didn’t ask for it and it’s not in response to something you did, it’s fake,” said Tamashasky.
He also says you shouldn’t engage with the call. Not by pressing one or calling the number back.
“You don’t want to respond, you don’t want to acknowledge it, you don’t want to start pressing keys in some imaginary phone tree that comes up on an unsolicited, unexpected call,” he said.
The federal trade commission claims this scam has been reported at least 76,000 times in the last year. It’s had reported losses of $19 million when the con artists get your social security number and steal your identity.
It’s happening right here in St. Joseph County as well.
“It’s easy to dial a million phone numbers,” said Tamashasky. “It’s not a hard thing. So yeah we’re seeing tons and tons of it.”
But he says there’s nothing to really do about it
“At the end of the day, you’re going to get spam calls just like you’re going to junk email. Don’t respond to junk emails, don’t respond to junk calls,” said Tamashasky.
Those calls are designed for one reason to get you to confirm your social security number for the scammers. The real social security association will never make a call like that. For more information on the scam, click here.