Don't Get Caught Off Guard - Protect Yourself with Awareness!
Be aware of the scams that are out there, so you can protect your personal information and assets from loss.
The Social Security Administration has an annual event to raise public awareness and prevent Social Security-related scams. This is called Slam the Scam Day. It was created in 2020 and expanded last year to include other government imposter scams. Consumer reported losses due to scams climbed to more than $446 million dollars in 2021. According to the Federal Trade Commission, reported losses for 2022 increased to nearly $509 million.
Slam the Scam Day for 2023 is March 9th. This is held annually as part of the Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week, March 5-11, 2023.
Learn how to spot government imposter scams, by learning what the scammers tricks and schemes are so you can be more aware and avoid becoming a victim.
In a government imposter scam, someone claims to be an SSA (Social Security Administration), or another government employee, and may ask for personal information, demand payment or make threats. These scams primarily use the telephone, but scammers may also use email, text messages, social media, or the U.S. mail.
Per Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, “Slamming the scam begins with consumers quickly taking a step to hang up the phone, or delete suspicious texts and emails, without responding to the scammers. That remains the easiest and most effective method to avoid falling prey to these vicious scams.”
The nut of it is – Don’t give out personal information or money and report any scam attempts.
If you receive a suspicious call: Hang up, Don’t give them personal information, Don’t trust your caller ID, Don’t give them money, Don’t believe them, and Report the scam at OIG.SSA.GOV
Tips for spotting scams is a critical component because it’s important for you to be aware of current trends and past behavior patterns of the scammers. The Social Security Office of the Inspector General provides resources on its website and posts tips and warnings on its social media platforms.
Real government officials will NEVER:
- threaten arrest or legal action against you unless you immediately send money;
- promise to increase your benefits or resolve a problem if you pay a fee or move your money into a protected account;
- require payment with gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfer, Internet currency, or by mailing cash; or
- try to gain your trust by providing fake “documentation,” false “evidence,” or the name of a real government official.
Additional resources can be found at https://www.ssa.gov/scam/resources.html. You are encouraged to report Social Security-related scams and fraud online at https://secure.ssa.gov/ipff/home. Other government imposter scams may be reported to the Federal Trade Commission https://www.ftc.gov/scams.
Join the Social Security Administration on Facebook and Twitter to follow along on National Slam the Scam Day using #SlamTheScam and visit www.ssa.gov/scam for more information.
To see the full press release from the Office of the Inspector General you can view it here:
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