Your Social Security Number isn’t suspended. Ever.

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A caller says that he’s from the government and your Social Security Number (SSN) has been suspended. He sounds very professional. So you should do exactly what he says to fix things…right?

Wrong.

The FTC has gotten reports about scammers trying to trick people out of their personal information by telling them that they need to “reactivate” their supposedly “suspended” SSNs. The scammers say the SSN was suspended because of some connection to fraud or other criminal activity. They say to call a number to clear it up – where they’ll ask you for personal information.

Thing is, Social Security Numbers do not get suspended. This is just a variation of a government imposter scam that’s after your SSN, bank account number, or other personal information. In this variation of the scheme, the caller pretends to be protecting you from a scam while he’s trying to lure you into one.

Here are a few tips to protect yourself:

  • Never give out or confirm personal information over the phone, via email or on a website until you’ve checked out whoever is asking you for it.
  • Do not trust a name, phone number, or email address just because it seems to be connected with the government. Con artists use official-sounding names and may fake caller ID or email address information to make you trust them. Besides, the government normally contacts people by postal mail.
  • Contact government agencies directly, using telephone numbers and website addresses you know to be legitimate.

If someone has tried to steal your personal information by pretending to be from the government, report it to the FTC.

 

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Comments

I do not under stand when a government place keeps asking for your complete number for your account and it is on the bank statement already.?

WHAT "government place"? The bank? The Social Security office? Some clown on the phone saying they're from the government? If YOU called the bank and they want your account#, give it to them. But don't give anything out to anyone who calls you first!

even if the so called bank asks you for your account number, don't even give it to them over the phone. Just go into your branch office and ask the manager on why the bank wants your account number. I'm sure he will tell you that you do not give it out to anyone unless you personally know they are the real thing, which means you go to the bank and verify the need to get this information.

To make sure you at least have that and aren't expecting them to give you that 411.

great info, thanks, I can't stop many Fake e-mails even if i " Block" them. What a lousy future we have to live in. Thanks again. M5

Thank you. Wish I could post this.

You're free to share the information in this blog post. There are quicklinks at the top of the post so you can add it to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Or, you can copy the text and put it in your own message.

Thank you so much for this information. I would have no idea without your help about such fraud.

When you get these calls, have them tell you what they know, but don't conform or deny anything for them. After you get what you want or just get tired of talking to them, just hang up the phone in the middle of their sentence.

IF you answer your phone ( and if you don’t recognize the number, I wouldn’t), whoever they ask for, even if it’s you, tell them to hold on, I’ll go get them, put the phone down without hanging up, and continue doing whatever you were doing.

After the 'Equifax' hack we just started 'not answering' the phone if the number wasn't already in our 'contacts'. If we accidentally answered the phone, and it was a 'scammer' or such, just added to the contacts as 'scam', that way we wouldn't answer their calls again.

Although it might slow them down a little and it sounds funny, this approach may cause even more scams to come your way. If you verify (in a way) that the person intended does belong to your number you may be added to more spam lists.

Can these scammers be prosecuted legally? If so, what steps are being taken to do so?

Thank you for the heads up. I'm sure they'll be calling me soon they always do.

Just got that call yesterday. I thought as much. Hung up. Never thought about it again.

Computers are humans enemy in this day and age. Anyone can get your information from the internet. If the world would go back to pen and paper, we would not have all of these electronic scams and identity thefts like we do. It was harder to steal a person's identity when the government used pen and paper. Easier is not always better.

My respects and consideration Would you be so kind as to inform me what I should do to verify my Social Security number You would be so kind to communicate. I am at your disposal thank you very much

The Social Security Administration has information online at faq.ssa.gov (English) and ssa.gov/es (Spanish).

I find it so hard that so many people are taken in by these scams. They must, or the scammers won't stay in business.

I would seriously like to know why the FTC/DNC is not forcing the sources of the calls to be investigated thoroughly? The FTC has the authority to force internet and phone companies to setup programs that check, verify and eliminate illegal calls, but yet the FTC doesn't force them to do this. Make the internet providers and phone companies start to verify every call, it doesn't mean they monitor the call, just verify that it is legitimate by using the IP address of internet or the phone verification process, and this will start eliminating robo-callers because their machine ID will be the soul way of stopping the robo-dialers. Each machine has its own IP/MAC address and it would not be hard to stop any computer generated call fro going anywhere past to internet Controller or the telephone detector . Of course it would take the FTC and other federal agencies to force the makers of those robo machines to set a code that all internet and telephone companies can block. First line of defense is to stop it from the source, then second line of defense is the internet providers and the telephone companies, and third line of defense is for the Federal agencies to impose massive fines (not a few thousand, but a few hundred million dollars for any offense that is caught, trust me if they get caught several times and end up going to jail for 10 + years for each offense it will start eliminating a lot of illegal actions. BUT... The FTC and FEDERAL Agencies need to start by sending out notices and investigating every complaint call, not just one out of every ten thousand complaints, finding the culprits and not only fining the crap out of them but also sending them to jail for illegal actions.

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