Fraud Advisory: Protect Your Social Security.
The Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration has released a Fraud Advisory. Here’s what you need to know.
All over the country, scammers pretending to be government employees are obtaining personal information from people who don’t know what to look out for. Keep your Social Security and other information safe with these tips!
- Identify scams. As public awareness increases, scammers get more creative with their approach. Some common methods include threatening telephone calls, emails requesting information, and most recently, letters. The Office of the Inspector General released a statement which read, “Phone scammers may offer to send official letters or reports by email to convince you they are legitimate government employees. Do not believe them! The letters may appear to be from Social Security or Social Security OIG, with official letterhead and government “jargon.” They may also contain misspellings and typos. Beware!”
- Exercise caution. You should be wary of any request for your personal information! If Social Security truly sends you a letter, it will never request payment using retail gift cards, cash, internet currency, wire transfers, or pre-paid cards. Social Security will never threaten arrest or legal action if you don’t pay immediately, promise you benefit increases in exchange for payment, or send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email. If you are pressured to give information over the phone, it is a scam! If you are suspicious of any request for your information, you can always call the entity’s customer service channels and make sure the information is correct.
- Secure your information. Don’t carry your social security card with you. Store it in a secure location. Instead of throwing out documents which contain personal information, shred them. Use anti- virus software on your electronics and don’t click on suspicious hyperlinks.
- For more information or to report an suspicious activity, you can visit oig.ssa.gov.