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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Social Security impersonator scams remain a problem

Officials from the Federal Trade Commission say many Americans continue to fall victim to Social Security Administration impersonators.

Here is how the scam works:

You get a call, email, text message, or a direct message on social media saying it’s from the Social Security Administration and that your Social Security benefits will end or your Social Security number will be suspended unless you pay immediately.

They’ll say that you have to pay with gift cards, a wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or by mailing cash. They may even threaten you, saying you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay.
However, it is not the Social Security Administration calling. Your benefits won’t be suspended and you don’t owe anything.

It is, in fact, a scammer trying to get your money, or get your personal information to steal your identity.

Here is what you should know:
• The real Social Security Administration won’t threaten you or suspend your Social Security number.
• The real Social Security Administration won’t call, email, send text messages, or send direct messages on social media asking for payment. And no one from any government agency will ever demand that you wire money, pay with gift cards, pay with cryptocurrency, or send cash.
• That call, email, text message, or direct message is a scam.
Here is how you should react:
• Know that if you get an unexpected call from someone claiming to be the Social Security Administration, hang up. Chances are it’s a scammer calling you.
• Don’t call back the number the caller gives you, and don’t use the one that shows up on your caller ID.
• If the call is a robocall, don’t press any numbers. Pressing numbers could lead to more calls.
• Ignore calls, emails, text messages and direct messages that claim to come from the Social Security Administration and ask you to pay or confirm your Social Security number or other information. The real agency will never call, email, text, or send direct messages on social media to demand money or information.
• If you need to talk to the Social Security Administration, call your local office directly. Find the number on the agency’s website.
See the Social Security Administration’s advice on what to do if you get a call from someone claiming there’s a problem with your Social Security number or account. And report these calls to the agency’s Office of the Inspector General.
If you gave your personal information to a scammer, go to IdentityTheft.gov for steps you can take to protect your identity.
Send your story to: rahnl@windomnews.com, or call 507-831-3455. By sharing your story, you could prevent someone from being scammed.
Watch www.windomnews.com for regular weekday updates at 8 a.m./noon/5 p.m., plus BREAKING stories at other times. Follow CoCoCitizen @CitPub on Twitter.

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