Consumers lost $19 million in social security scam calls

Local

Criminals are calling you pretending to be with the Social Security Administration.

The Federal Trade Commission says the scammers want your Social Security number, and your money, too.

$19 million is given to these scammers to be exact. Compare that to the IRS phone scam going around that received $17 million.

Scammers are using authentic looking caller ID to dupe their victims.

Sharane Gott, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “Unless you have an appointment set up with social security to call you, social security or a government agency will not call you.”

It all starts with a phone call: “This call is regarding to your Social Security Number. We found some fraudulent activities under your name.”)

Monica Vaca, with the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, explained, “People have their guard down, and they’re more likely to believe that it is the Social Security Administration that’s calling, when in fact, of course, it’s not. It’s a scammer.”

We’ve all received robocalls. Some for business purposes, others like this scam as an attempt to get your Social Security Number, and your money, too.

Gott said, “They usually have some piece of information about your identity, and in some cases, they have the last four digits of your Social Security Number.”

Ronan Dunne with Verizon says they’ve already started using free call blocking features.

Dunne explained, “There are certain calls that customers receive, say from their financial institution, maybe around the time of elections, where some may want to receive them, some people may not.”

According to local consumers, scammers can verify the last four digits or your full social security number and other personal information over the phone.

Here’s some tips on how to avoid these Social Security Administration phone scam calls:

  • Make sure you never give out your personal information over the phone.
  • Do not trust your caller ID. Many scammers “spoof” phone numbers to make you trust them.
  • Government agencies do not call unsolicited. Rather, they send letters if they need to contact you.

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