Hundreds of consumers in North Alabama have called the Better Business Bureau over the past two weeks reporting calls from scammers impersonating the Social Security Administration (SSA). Consumers hear a recording that states their Social Security number has been suspended for suspicious or illegal activity. They are advised to call the number provided to them immediately to resolve the issue. The call concludes by stating if the person does not contact the provided phone number, the person will no longer receive their benefits.
The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, has confirmed that SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer service purposes. If a person receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, citizens should report that information to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
To avoid falling victim to this scam, Acting Inspector General Stone advises that consumers:
- Avoid calling any number provided by an unknown source. Don’t be pressured into providing your personal information, or to make a payment or purchase for fictitious reasons.
- Avoid making payments over the phone, purchasing gift cards… to resolve government or business matters.
If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA or the OIG, call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy.
Source: Social Security Administration