Watch out for scams that threaten to suspend your Social Security number
January 12, 2023
Today I received an email saying that my Social Security number was going to be suspended.
Ironically, it was “signed” by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. I wonder if he was chosen for the scam because he’s a Tea Party conservative from Texas who people may think would come after them in other states.
I checked for other documents with Paxton’s signature. It was an exact copy.
Social Security recipients may be seeing a big increase in this old government imposter scam because in their benefits are going up this month.
Don’t take the bait. Your Social Security number is never suspended for any reason. The object of the scam is to get money from the victim, as well as their personal information.
The Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration offers these tips for avoiding government impostor scams:
- Pause and take a breath. Scammers seek to cause a strong emotional response. Stop and think. Better yet, hang up or ignore the message.
- Don’t transfer money. Someone demanding immediate payment of a fee or debt by gift card, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer is a sure mark of a scam.
- Be skeptical. Scammers adopt trappings of officialdom, such as real-sounding titles and bogus ID numbers, to persuade you they’re legitimate. If they transfer you to another “government official” to confirm their story, it’s almost surely an accomplice.
- Don’t provide personal or financial data such as Social Security or bank account numbers, even the caller has some of your information already.
- Block unwanted calls and text messages.
- Don’t click on links or attachments in texts or email from unfamiliar senders.
Here’s what my email message said:
SSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Your SSN id will be terminated within 48 hours due to unusual activity.
Have a look at the details attached below!..
Note apologize is misspelled.
So, be cautious of any phone call, email, text, or letter that warns you about a suspended Social Security number. It’s a scam. Hang up, delete and block the email or text, or throw away the letter.
Wow! Are they ever getting sophisticated!!
Posted by: Diane | January 16, 2023 at 12:21 PM
Scams. Working for a bank that's all I hear about each day. And they're getting more and more sophisticated. But love that in this case they spelled apologize in the British way, not the American way.
Posted by: Jennifer | January 17, 2023 at 05:40 AM
Wow. To think people are out to steal money from seniors (or anyone) is very sad. Good to be informed, though.
Posted by: Laurie Stone | January 17, 2023 at 10:11 AM
Yes, it's good to keep writing about scams. As Jennifer said, working for bank that's all she hears about each day.
Posted by: Rita | January 17, 2023 at 01:36 PM
I always go straight to the site to check if I get weird emails or texts and never click the link. It's awful that people target groups like seniors and others to steal.
Posted by: Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski | January 17, 2023 at 03:51 PM
Good idea, Rebecca. That's what I do, too. Sometimes I call the company, too.
Posted by: Rita | January 17, 2023 at 04:21 PM
SSA (Social Security) would like anyone who's targeted to:
"If you receive a suspicious call, text, or email:
Do not return unknown calls, texts, or emails.
Do not give money or personal information.
Report the scam to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) using the instructions below.
If you receive a call, text, or email that you believe to be suspicious, about a problem with your Social Security number or account, do not respond or engage with the caller or sender. Report Social Security phone, email, and text scams through our dedicated online form.
How to report a suspicious call, text, or email:
When reporting these suspicious communications, please be sure to capture as much information as you can. This includes:
Taking a screenshot or photo of the website, social media post, email, or text message(s).
For emails and text messages, please try to capture the entire message and any included message links. Also, let us know how you received or came across the suspicious message.
For U.S. postal mailings, if you can, scan or take cell phone pictures of the complete mailing, including the front and back of the outside envelope. Please hold onto the actual mailing for at least 30-days after reporting. We may decide to retrieve the hard copy of the mailed item.
This information will help ensure that we can locate the suspicious communication. https://www.ssa.gov/scam/ At the bottom of the linked page is a button/box to click on that I think will take you to a form to use to report a scam/phishing attempt. Definitely take action if you're able to, only way any of the scammers will be caught, even then it's a bit of a long shot.
Posted by: azure | January 18, 2023 at 02:15 PM
Good information so people know what to do. Also, reporting information to Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General is a good idea.
Posted by: Rita | January 18, 2023 at 03:26 PM
The scammers are so expert it is difficult at times to tell a scam. Have to be wary of every communication supposedly from the government or any other 'legitimate' source.
Posted by: Meryl Baer | January 19, 2023 at 10:28 AM
Yes, I should count the number of scam emails that I get and write an article about it. I'm getting less robocalls, but, maybe I shouldn't say that or I'll start getting them all the time again.
Posted by: Rita | January 19, 2023 at 01:30 PM
This is such an awful thing! I love when the scammers get found out and exposed! I can watch those videos on a loop!
Posted by: Corinne Rodrigues | January 25, 2023 at 02:32 AM