Critter Corner: Been the victim of a Social Security Scam? There’s a New Online Form for That!

Dear Magic,

My mother was the victim of a Social Security scam. I told her she should report it, but whenever she tries, she is on hold for what seems like forever. Is there another way?

Thanks,
Ree Portit

Dear Ree,

Social Security scams are the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security Administration. In fact, these scams, which usually involve fake callers misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for alleged Social Security number problems, have skyrocketed over the past year.

SSA Encourages Use of its New Online Form

To encourage more people to report Social Security phone scams, the SSA and its Office of Inspector General (OIG) made doing so much easier by unveiling a dedicated online form for you to report them. The form is located here: https://oig.ssa.gov/

Commissioner Andrew Saul and Inspector General Gail Ennis encourage the public to use the new online form to report robocalls and live callers, as well as email, text, and in-person scams. The form allows people to create a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN), so if OIG contacts a person about their report, they will know the call is legitimate.

How You Can Avoid Social Security Scams

Inspector General Ennis cautions that people should never provide information or payment over the phone or Internet unless they are certain of who is receiving it.

They caution that Social Security would never:

  • tell you your Social Security number has been suspended;
  • contact you to demand an immediate payment;
  • ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone;
  • require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash;
  • demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe;
  • promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.

If you think you’ve been targeted by telephone scams asking for your Social Security number, be sure to use the form to let the SSA know!

Hop that helps,
Magic

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