What should I do if I get a call claiming there’s a problem with my Social Security number or account?

What should I do if I get a call claiming there's a problem with my Social Security number or account?

What should I do if I get a call claiming there’s a problem with my Social Security number or account?

Receiving a call claiming there’s a problem with your Social Security number or account can be unsettling, especially considering the potential for scams and identity theft. It’s important to approach such calls cautiously and take appropriate steps to protect yourself. Here’s what you should do:

What should I do if I get a call claiming there's a problem with my Social Security number or account?

 

  1. Do Not Provide Personal Information: Avoid giving out any personal or sensitive information over the phone. This includes your Social Security number, bank account details, passwords, or any other private information. Legitimate organizations will not ask for such information over the phone.
  2. Stay Calm and Verify the Call: Remain calm and cautious during the call. Fraudsters often use scare tactics to pressure you into providing information. Ask for the caller’s name, department, and a call-back number. Do not use any contact information provided by the caller; instead, look up the official contact information for the organization (in this case, the Social Security Administration) and call them directly to verify the call.
  3. Contact the Official Source: If you suspect the call might be legitimate, hang up and call the official customer service number of the organization they claimed to be from. In the case of Social Security matters, visit the official Social Security Administration website or call their official phone number. This ensures you’re speaking to a legitimate representative.
  4. Use Official Contact Information: Always use official contact information obtained from the organization’s official website, official correspondence, or trusted government sources. Avoid using contact information provided by the caller, as scammers often provide fake numbers.
  5. Avoid Immediate Action: Scammers often pressure you to make quick decisions. Do not feel obligated to take immediate action during the call. Take your time to verify the legitimacy of the call before proceeding with any actions.
  6. Be Wary of Threats or Demands for Payment: Scammers might threaten legal actions or demand immediate payments. Legitimate government agencies will not make threats or demand payments over the phone. If you receive such threats, it’s likely a scam.
  7. Report Suspicious Calls: If you suspect a call is a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ftccomplaintassistant.gov. You can also inform your local law enforcement agency. Providing information about the call can help authorities track down and prevent fraudulent activities.
  8. Educate Yourself: Be aware of common phone scams and techniques used by fraudsters. Stay informed about new scam tactics so you can recognize them and protect yourself.
  9. Consider Call Blocking: If you receive repeated scam calls, consider using call-blocking apps or services that can help filter out unwanted and suspicious calls.

Remember that legitimate government agencies and organizations will not ask for sensitive information over the phone. Always prioritize your safety and take steps to verify the legitimacy of any calls that raise concerns about your personal information or accounts.