By: Legal Strategies, P.C.
The Federal Trade Commission is warning about a scam, involving your Social Security payments. In one version of the scam, a caller says your Social Security number has been linked to a crime (often the crime allegedly occurred in Texas). The caller says the Social Security number is now blocked, but for a fee he can either reactivate it or get you a new number. He then asks you to confirm your Social Security number for him.
In another variation of the scam, the caller says that someone applied for credit cards with your Social Security number and that your benefits will be cut off. He might also warn you that your bank account is going to be seized and you'll need to withdraw all your money and follow his instructions for keeping it safe.
Here is what you need to know to protect yourself against this type of scam:
- The Social Security Administration will never call and ask you for your Social Security number.
- The Social Security Administration will never call and threaten your benefits.
- Never give you Social Security number (or even the last four digits) to anyone who calls you.
- Do not give your bank account or credit card information to anybody who contacts you by the phone and asks for it.
- Remember that anyone who asks you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash is a SCAMMER no matter what they tell you.
If you get a call from someone who claims to be from Social Security, hang up and call the real SSA at 800.772.1213. Then report it to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/compliant.
In 2017, the FTC heard from 3,200 people about this scam and those people lost nearly $210,000. In 2018, 35,000 people lost over $10 million due to this scam.
If you are new to estate planning and not sure where to start, contact Legal Strategies for a free consultation.