Social Security Phone Scam: Here’s How It Works


In the USA, social security is at a high level and people feel safe, they know that the police will help them in difficult situations. They know that the law is on their side, they know that people can and should be trusted. And it is the feeling of social security that makes many “blind” and people are deceived by scammers who are happy to use it. Unfortunately, the social security scam is widespread in the United States and can affect each of you. And it doesn’t matter if you are a poor immigrant who has just arrived in the United States or a person who lives in an expensive house and succeeds in business – everyone is under some degree of risk.

US residents use Social Security Number (SSN) more often than a passport. Without it, you can’t get a job, pay taxes, take out medical insurance, apply for social benefits, rent an apartment or get a bank loan. SSN is the key to a comfortable, and most importantly, legal life in the United States.

American scammers who involve people in social security number scam introduce themselves as agents of the Social Security Administration. This is the agency that administers pensions, disability benefits, and insurance. Scammers try to find out confidential information, a social security card number and also force the victim to give money. One of the most common tactics is not associated with a bank account but with a social security card (SSN). Fraudsters on behalf of employees of the Social Security Administration tell people that their SSN has been suspended due to suspicious activity or because the person was involved in some crime. “A criminal justice measure has been applied to your social security number, so when you receive this message, please call our 516 number as soon as possible before we start the trial ...”- this is how social security scam phone calls sound like.

Since the person’s bank accounts will be closed soon, fraudsters recommend the victim to withdraw cash before this happens. Then the frightened victim, following the instructions of the caller, withdraws money and give the card number to the criminals. Sometimes people, following the instructions, converted money into digital currency, which was then withdrawn by scammers through Bitcoin ATMs.

Do people fall for it?

As it turned out, many people believe in this! According to the social security scam report, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service estimates that Americans filed more than 70,000 reports of social security fraudsters and their financial loss amounted to $20 million in 1 year. About 40,000 complaints and $7 million in losses were registered in August and September. “Fraudsters convince frightened victims to send money by bank transfer or gift cards in order to “reactivate” or “clear” the social security number from the so-called “criminal activity”.

Fraudsters know almost everything about the “client”: surname, name, passport data, and so on. They collect this data from open sources, such as social networks and databases. Scammers keep their victims in stress. That’s why the attacker on the other end of the phone speaks confidently, slightly assertively, and regularly makes it clear that the problem is serious.

What do American authorities recommend?

They advise being suspicious of any calls from government agencies, asking people to send money or provide personal information and urge them to never trust strange calls. Government agencies will never ask you to transfer money or pay for something. If in doubt, check everything first so that not fall for suspended social security scam call:

1. You shouldn’t trust the phone number that is displayed on the smartphone screen. It may be social security scam calls. If you still have doubts, you need to ignore this call and call the service yourself.

2. For those who have already managed to disclose personal information to attackers, there is a state service, with which you can protect your data and suppress further actions with your bank accounts.

3. To avoid becoming a victim of Identity theft, try not to show your SSN anywhere and anyone.

4. It is best to leave the card at home, in a cabinet with documents. And the number should be known by heart. Never carry the SSN card with you. Some people even laminate it and carry it in their wallet or back pocket. But this is a big mistake. Never do so!

5. To avoid fake social security scam call, always be very suspicious of a request to provide your SSN. If someone asks you for this number, be sure to ask for what purpose they need it.

6. Check your Credit Report regularly and immediately deal with any inaccuracies in it. The sooner you find a problem, the faster you can get rid of it, that is, you will not become a victim of social security call scam.

7. Don’t click links to unfamiliar resources. With their help, scammers try to infect your computer or phone with a virus and steal your personal data.

Who can know your SSN?

1. Your employer, of course. They need it for accounting documents, taxes, and so on.

2. Tax Service. Just make sure that you contacted them, and not vice versa.

3. US Treasury, and other government programs (referring to unemployment benefits, financial assistance, etc.)

4. Banks and other financial and insurance companies. For example, you want to buy a car. Of course, they need your SSN – without it, they won’t know about your credit history, and they won’t give you anything.

5. Medical facilities. This is not necessary but, as a rule, they require SSN. You can give it, although some prefer to refuse. Based on SSN, a hospital can find out all sorts of interesting things about you. In some situations, knowing your SSN by heart, can save your life – if you forget your insurance card but remember the SSN.

6. Owners of the apartment or house you are about to rent. Usually, they require an SSN to check your credit history in order to know who they are facing. You can give it but, of course, you need to look who is standing in front of you.

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