Protecting your Social Security number is one of the main things you can do to avoid fraud. Unfortunately, so many breaches of Internet security have occurred recently that it may be too late. But, it never hurts to be vigilant.
It Looks Like The Correct Telephone Number
Take note that scammers are trying to collect such personal information as your Social Security number in a creative new way--by pretending to be Social Security. These crooks are so savvy that they have figured out a way to make it appear that they are calling from Social Security's actual telephone number, 800-772-1213.
Promises and Threats
Once they have you on the phone, these scammers will ask you for your personal information, including your Social Security number. The thieves will claim that Social Security needs this
information to update their files. Or, so that Social Security can increase your benefits. The scammers might even say that Social Security is going to terminate your Social Security disability or retirement benefits without the requested information.
Wait--You Don't Already Know My Social Security Number?
It is true that Social Security may call you. This is notably true if you are applying for Social Security disability benefits. But, if Social Security calls you, they are already going to have your Social Security number. If someone claiming to be from Social Security does not know your Social Security number, hang up.
Turn The Scammers In
Report any suspicious behavior to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at oig.ssa.gov/report.