The caller says your Social Security file is incomplete and without more information, your assets, as well as your benefits, will be frozen.
Pretty terrifying if you depend on Social Security checks.
Only, it’s not true.
The caller isn’t from Social Security.
Social Security can’t freeze your assets.
Social Security doesn’t do business by phone.
But scammers love the phone and they love trusting folks and vulnerable elders.
The caller is a thief
The guy, or the automated voice, on the phone really wants you to hand him your information so he can steal money.
It may be your money he wants to steal, if he gets your banking information. Or, he wants to steal someone else’s money by pretending to be you.
Scammers also use the IRS cover because the IRS is feared; just another way to get your attention.
The scammers use the Social Security cover story because Social Security impacts almost every American adult. And, Social Security is trusted.
Through the magic of hacking, they even display the real Social Security phone number. But it’s only real on your phone’s caller ID.
The other real thing is the threat to your financial wellbeing.
Only scammers make calls
The “fact” that your first contact about a supposedly dire situation comes by phone is a giveaway that the caller is a scammer.
Real government employees write letters.
They write, and write, and write.
They explain the problem. They suggest what needs to happen next. And none of their fixes involve providing critical identifying information over the phone.
They make a record that way that they’ve played by the rules.
When scammers call
Your strategy is simple:
Tell them nothing.
But do tell the feds. You can report the crooks online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report .
If you continue to be worried about your Social Security account, call the real Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or online at the SSA’s website.
Keep your personal information personal and private.