Social Security Card behind a closed lock

Credit Union of Denver wants to keep our members informed about potential fraud, so that you can protect yourself with informed choices. The information provided has been obtained from reliable resources so you can be in-the-know!

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is warning Americans about widespread phone scams where callers may impersonate Social Security or claim a Social Security-related problem. Unfortunately, these scammers are trying to gain your trust and steal your money.

The best way to protect yourself is to be aware.

The Social Security Administration will NEVER:

  • Call to threaten you with arrest, legal action, or benefit suspension if you do not immediately pay a debt, fine, or fee.
  • Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended, offer to increase your benefits, or resolve identity theft problems in exchange for payment.
  • Require payment via retail gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, internet currency like Bitcoin, or by mailing cash.
  • Demand secrecy in handling a Social Security-related problem
  • Tell you to make up a story to tell your friends, family, or store/financial institution employees.
  • Text you unsolicited to tell you about a problem with your Social Security number or benefits.
  • Email you attached documents, official letters, or reports containing your personally identifiable information.

Be very cautious if you receive an unsolicited call from the government and you don’t recognize the problem or issue they’re calling about. Do not provide personally identifiable information over the phone. If you do owe money to Social Security, the agency will mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights.

If you receive a suspicious call:

  • Hang up!
  • Do not give them money or personal information.
  • Report Social Security scams to ssa.gov
  • Report other impostor scams at ftc.gov/complaint

 

The Social Security Office of the Inspector General has also received reports that Social Security beneficiaries have received letters through the mail stating their payments will be suspended or discontinued unless they call a phone number referenced in the letter. Scammers may then mislead beneficiaries into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain regular benefit payments during this period of COVID-19 office closures.

If you receive a letter, text, call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about an alleged problem with your Social Security number, account, or payments, hang up or do not respond. It’s encouraged to report Social Security scams using the dedicated online form, at oig.ssa.gov.

 

Feel free to share the information provided with your friends and family, so you can all stay safe and protected.

 

Sources: https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-10018, https://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/news-releases/march20-advisory, https://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/news-releases/march3-advisory &enhanced by Credit Union of Denver