The most insidious types of scams are the ones you never see coming. The best way to keep yourself from getting scammed altogether is to arm yourself with knowledge. Here are some of the top ways to spot common social security scams to keep yourself safe.
The main way these scams work is by intimidating otherwise smart people into suspending their disbelief. You academically understand that the Social Security office wouldn’t call you to inform you of fraud under your name, asking for money to make it all go away. That’s patently ridiculous. However, when an authoritative-sounded voice on the other end of the line already knows how many bank accounts you have and who they’re with, you might be given pause.
It’s tough to think clearly when someone is firmly warning you about impending legal action, They might threaten to close your bank accounts, to have police sent to your home, or even have you put behind bars.
When someone on the other end of the phone call starts threatening you with such serious things, just take a moment to compose yourself. You’re not in any danger, and you’re not in trouble. The Social Security office won’t call you about fraud, and they’ll certainly never demand money from you over the phone.
Don’t divulge personal information to people over the phone, for any reason. Even if they know where your bank accounts are, your name, your date of birth, and other personal info, that doesn’t mean they’re a government official.
Even if the person is an official, they have no business asking you for that information over the phone.
If you determine that the person calling you is scamming you, then you’re already in the clear. You don’t need to confront them or play along with them. Just hang up the phone and report the fraud to the proper authorities.
Even if you’ve realized it’s a scam, you shouldn’t keep going along with it. You don’t want to accidentally give the scammer any more information than they already have. Moreover, if they’ve got some of your personal information already, taunting them and making them angry could lead to them targeting you with ongoing harassment and fraud attempts.
Just try to keep your wits about you, and simply refrain from answering phone calls from numbers you don’t recognize. If the government needs to contact you, they have more official channels than calling your cell phone.