Alaska Attorney General Kevin G. Clarkson warns of a telephone scam affecting Alaskans, with callers pretending to be from the Social Security Administration. The callers try to get you to reveal your Social Security number or give them money. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns that tens of thousands of Americans have received these calls, resulting in losses to consumers in the tens of millions of dollars.
The scammers call on a number that identifies as being from the Social Security Administration (SSA), saying your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity or because it has been involved in a crime. Sometimes, you are asked to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Or, the scammer may say your bank account is about to be seized, and you need to reveal information to them so they can safeguard your money. The caller ID may show that the caller is from the SSA, but it is not the real SSA calling. Scammers know how to put false information on their caller ID.
Here is what you need to know:
- Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended.
- Your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
- SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards.
- If you receive a call like this, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the SSA before responding to these calls.
- Above all else, never give any part of your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card number to an unknown caller.
Attorney General Clarkson states, “We have to be aware and vigilant of these scams that are targeting Alaskans, including our vulnerable senior population.” He urges anyone with concerns to contact the Department of Law Consumer Protection office at 907.269.5200, or http://www.law.state.ak.us/department/civil/consumer/cpindex.html. Complaints may also be filed at ftc.gov/complaint.