Better Business Bureau Serving North Alabama has received an influx of reports regarding Social Security scams in the North Alabama area.
Residents in North Alabama have received phone calls from a person claiming to be with a Social Security monitoring office in Texas stating the consumer’s number had been compromised. The scammer proceeds to ask for their full names, addresses and the last four digits of their Social Security number.
Social Security scams generally involve consumers receiving a call from a scammer claiming to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Victims are told their Social Security number has been used for fraudulent activity, and they need to confirm the number or provide other personal information. The scammers can become aggressive if the consumer declines to share that information. In some cases, even threatening to have them arrested.
These reports come after a BBB study on government impostor scams, which was released in July. The study showed that while overall reports of government impostor scams were decreasing, scammers were finding creative new ways to target victims.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported $124.29 million lost to government impostor fraud in 2019. In the first half of 2020, BBB Scam Tracker received 515 reports of SSA impostors, constituting 78% of all government impostor scams to Scam Tracker in that time span.
Use these tips from your Better Business Bureau to avoid Social Security fraud in North Alabama:
- Never share personal information. Be cautious what information you share, especially when you receive unsolicited calls.
- Know SSA procedures. Knowing basic SSA procedures can help you avoid falling victim to a scammer looking to steal your information. The SSA will never call you to demand immediate payment or pay a debt without the ability to appeal the amount owed. They will never require a specific form of payment, such as wire transfer or prepaid debit card, or ask for your personal information over the phone. And an SSA representative will never threaten you with arrest or deportation.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Caller ID can be spoofed to say a call is from the SSA, so don’t make decisions based on caller ID.
- Contact the SSA directly. If you are unsure of a call you receive, hang up and call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.
For more information, visit us at BBB.org.
If you’ve been the victim of a scam, report your experience to BBB Scam Tracker. Your report can help others to stay informed and protected!
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