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“Slam the Scam:” Protecting yourself from government imposters

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Social Security Disability |

Mossman Law Office 3835418 TBP 22 due 0322.pdf (SEE TOPIC RNational Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) has just passed, but it’s never too late (or early) to remind folks that scam artists are everywhere – and they’re increasingly clever.

One of the biggest tactics scam artists use today is impersonating government officials. In 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 228,000 complaints about imposters, the majority of whom pretended to be Social Security Administration (SSA) representatives. That has cost vulnerable consumers more than $126.5 million. As a result, SSA has been trying to get the word out, including having National Slam the Scam Day to spread the warning.

Don’t trust your eyes or your ears

Technological changes have made it increasingly difficult to tell whom you are talking to over the phone or the internet. Here are the basics you need to keep in mind:

  • You cannot rely on your caller ID. Scam artists know how to make it appear that the call is coming from a real government agency.
  • You should never click a link in an email, text message or message through social media, no matter how legitimate it may seem. No government agency will contact you that way about your account or benefits. They will contact you by mail.
  • You should never provide anybody with your personal identifying information or financial information just because they say that they are a government employee.

If you are unsure whether a message or call you received is from SSA, hang up and call 1-800-SSA-1213 and ask to speak with a representative. Your record will be visible to them, and they can provide you with any information you need to know about your account or benefits.

If you believe that you’ve been the target of fraud where the scam artist is pretending to be a government employee, file a report right away. That’s the best way to protect yourself and others.