Scam alert: Don’t believe calls claiming problems with your Social Security

If there is a problem, the Social Security Administration will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. Generally, they will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with them. The latest scam trick using robocall or live callers has increased. Fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account or benefits.

Scammers may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets or resolve identity theft. They often demand payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency or mailing cash.

Social Security employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Rarely, Social Security may call you for some situations, but will NEVER:

Threaten you

Suspend your Social Security number

Demand immediate payment from you

Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, internet currency or wire transfer

Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash

Do not be fooled! You should look out for:

A caller saying there is a problem with your Social Security number or account

Any call asking you to pay a fine or debt with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency or by mailing cash

Scammers pretending they’re from Social Security or another government agency; Caller ID or documents sent by email may look official but they are not

How to protect yourself and your family:

If you receive a questionable call, hang up and report the call to the Social Security Office of the Inspector General

Don’t return unknown calls

Ask someone you trust for advice before making any large purchase or financial decision

Don’t be embarrassed to report if you shared personal financial information or suffered a financial loss

Learn more at the Office of the Inspector General’s website

Share this information with friends and family

Learn more about Social Security fraud prevention and reporting.

Menlo Park, a Tree City USA community, is a quiet yet vibrant city of pleasant, tree-lined neighborhoods and friendly people.

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