The inspector general’s office at the Social Security Administration has issued a warning about a scam in which callers trying to get a victim’s personal information pretend to be from that office, a warning that follows recent cautions from the IRS about callers pretending to be from that agency.
According to the IG, the caller “indicates an issue exists pertaining to the person’s Social Security account or Social Security number and directs the person call a non-SSA telephone number to address the issue.” In some cases the call is a recording that says the person’s Social Security account, number, and/or benefits have been suspended.”
“Citizens should be aware that the scheme’s details may vary; however, citizens should avoid calling the number provided, as the unknown caller might attempt to acquire personal information,” the IG office said. It said that while its investigators occasionally call individuals during investigations, they will not request sensitive personal information over the phone.
“This phishing scheme is targeting unsuspecting persons for the purpose of Social Security benefit theft or identity theft,” It said, adding that individuals should “avoid providing personal information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.” Suspicious calls may be reported to the IG at 800-269-0271 or https://oig.ssa.gov/report.