Social Security Administration Warning of Phone Impersonation Scheme

Video: The public service announcement created by the Social Security Administration warning people about an impersonation scheme. 

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The Social Security Administration and its inspector general are launching a public service announcement to raise awareness of a nationwide telephone impersonation scheme.

In the scheme, the caller falsely claims to be a Social Security employee. Calls can even “spoof” the Social Security’s national customer service number as the incoming number on the caller ID, according to the agency.

“We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or Internet,” said Nancy A. Berryhill, acting commissioner of Social Security, in a statement. “If you receive a call and are not expecting one, you must be extra careful – you can always get the caller’s information, hang up, and contact the official phone number of the business or agency the caller claims to represent. Do not reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you.”

Social Security employees do occasionally contact people by phone for business purposes, generally for ongoing business purposes. But employees will never threaten a person or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information. Those calls are fraudulent. If you receive such a call, you should report the information to the OIG Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271 or online.

“Our message to the public is simply this: If you or someone you know receives a questionable call claiming to be from SSA or the OIG, just hang up,” said Gail S. Ennis, inspector general for the Social Security Administration, in a statement.

Contact Kristen Thometz: @kristenthometz | [email protected] | (773) 509-5452

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