It’s hard enough to navigate the Social Security system without worrying about identity theft, but criminals are now targeting vulnerable people looking for help. Wait times to visit Social Security are often two or more hours. Hold times are outrageous, and that’s if you can get past the random “your call is very important to us, goodbye” hang ups.
On October 29th, The Federal Trade Commission warned us:
Scammers are spoofing SSA’s 1-800 customer service number to try to get your personal information.
• SSA will not threaten you. Real SSA employees will never threaten you to get personal information. They also won’t promise to increase your benefits in exchange for information. If they do, it’s a scam.
• If you have any doubt, hang up and call SSA directly. Call 1-800-772-1213 – that really is the phone number for the Social Security Administration. If you dial that number, you know who you’re getting. But remember that you can’t trust caller ID. If a call comes in from that number, you can’t be sure it’s really SSA calling.
• If you get a spoofed call, report it. If someone calls, claiming to be from SSA and asking for information like your Social Security number, report it to SSA’s Office of Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or https://oig.ssa.gov/report. You can also report these calls to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
For more information, see the FTC’s post at consumer.ftc.gov.