Scammers are pretending to be government employees, according to a posting on the Social Security Administration’s website, SSA.gov.
The scammers “may threaten you and may demand immediate payment (from you) to avoid arrest or other legal action,” warns the posting on the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s website.
Criminals continue to evolve and find new ways to steal money and personal information, the website adds.
Here are some tips to avoid the scams:
Be aware that if you owe money to Social Security, the SSA will mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights. The SSA only accept payments electronically through Pay.gov, Online Bill Pay, or physically by check or money order through its offices. The SSA will not:
- Threaten arrest or legal action, if you refuse to pay money immediately. It will not suspend your Social Security number. It will not promise a benefit in exchange for money. It will not request gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, Internet cryptocurrency or cash through the U.S. mail.
- The SSA only sends emails or text messages if you have opted in to receive them and only in limited situations, such as when you have subscribed with Social Security to receive updates and notifications by text or email; or, as part of Social Security’s enhanced security when accessing your personal my Social Security account.
- The SSA may email or text about programs and services but will never ask for a return call to an unknown number or ask for personal information.
- If you receive a suspicious call, text, or email: Hang up. Do not return unknown calls, texts or emails. Do not give money or personal information.
Published December 28, 2022
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