Scammers claiming to be from SSA use fear to steal personal info

(WNDU)
Published: Oct. 17, 2018 at 6:40 PM EDT
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Scammers are using fear to steal your money and personal information.

The inspector general is issuing a warning for consumers to be on the lookout for the latest phone scam and have recommendations to protect yourself.

Ale Scarpa says the scam calls just keep coming in, and she's not the only one

According to one report, nearly half of all calls will come from scammers by next year.

Now, officials are warning about the latest scheme: fraudsters claiming to be from the Social Security Administration.

"The scams we've been seeing lately is that your Social Security number has been deactivated," Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Jennifer Walker said. "The Social Security Administration does not deactivate accounts."

It's robocalls, in some cases, providing a phony call-back number or website to steal your personal and financial information.

Some are human callers, using a fake name and government affiliation to ask for your Social Security number, address or date of birth.

"It is on very, very rare occasions that someone from the Social Security Administration would call an individual," Walker said.

Those consumers would likely be expecting the call and have ongoing business with the Social Security Administration.

For any unsolicited calls, keep your guard up and don't be fooled by caller ID. Scammers can mimic an official number or local area code.

"If you ever feel threatened or pressured to provide any sort of information, go with gut instinct, hang up," Walker said.

If you fear there could be a legitimate issue, contact the government entity directly to verify the call.

If you have questions about any communication that claims to be from the Social Security Administration or the office of the inspector general, call 800-269-0271.