No matter how reputable a company sounds, they are most likely scammers if they make the first contact and ask for sensitive information over the phone.
The Federal Trade Commission warns us that scammers are impersonating the Social Security Administration in order to gain information for the purpose of committing identity theft. They might call or send you to a website other than ssa.gov.
Here’s some tips to deal with these government imposters from the FTC:
- Don’t give the caller your information. Never give out or confirm sensitive information – like your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number – unless you know who you’re dealing with. If someone has contacted you, you can’t be sure who they are.
- Don’t trust a name or number. Con artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them. To make their call seem legitimate, scammers use internet technology to spoof their area code – so although it may seem they are calling from Washington, DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.
- Check with the Social Security Administration. The SSA has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.
If you come across one of these scams, please report it to the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271/1-866-501-2101(TTY) and then tell the FTC about it.
For more detail visit the post on Social Security Administration Scammers on FTC.gov.