Protect Your Social Security Number
Scammers are always seeking new ways to steal your personal information, and a recent scam making the rounds is disguising itself as the Social Security Administration (SSA). Your social security number is like gold to scammers, giving them access to wreak havoc on your personal identity and security. The SSA works hard to keep your information secure, but they remind you that each individual also plays an important role to protect his or her data.
There are multiple ways a scammer can approach you for your information. They can contact you via mail, phone, or online. Make sure that you are vigilant when there is a request regarding your social security number. The SSA notes a few indications that someone may not be who they say they are:
• A mismatch between their name and the name embedded in their email address.
• There are obvious spelling and grammar errors.
• They asked if you would send or receive money/packages on someone else’s behalf.
• They need money right away due to a medical emergency, or they need a visa or air tickets. Or, a business opportunity arose that was too good to turn down. Can you wire a loan?
• They state you are named as a party in a lawsuit and in order to clear your name you need to share certain information or contact them through another number.
To protect yourself and your identity, never give your social security number to someone that asks for it in which you have not initiated that interaction. If you find that someone is pretending to be from the SSA, make sure to report them immediately to the Office of the Inspector General by calling 1-800-269-0271 or online. For more detailed information, please visit the SSA blog at https://blog.ssa.gov/.