The SSA inspector general has said that scams in which its own employees, and SSA employees in general, are being impersonated are now using even more actual information about those employees.
The fraud alert is the latest in a series from the IG’s office at the SSA, which along with the IRS, DHS and FTC is one of the most commonly spoofed agencies by scammers seeking to threaten or deceive people into providing sensitive information or money. While such calls and emails for years have claimed to be coming from government agencies, in recent years they have started using software making it appear that they are coming directly from official government numbers and accounts, in some cases using names of actual employees gleaned from agency websites.
In the most recent warning, the IG said that has now progressed even to using badge numbers of law enforcement officers. Other evolving tactics, it said, include email attachments containing personal information about a purported investigation, and texted links to click about a purported Social Security-related problem.
The notice stresses that the SSA will not suspend a Social Security number because someone else has used it in a crime; threaten anyone with arrest or other legal action unless they immediately pay a fine or fee; require payment by retail gift card, wire transfer, internet currency, or mailing cash; promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment; or send official letters or reports containing personal information via email.