National Slam the Scam Day Approaching on March 10Reading Time: 3 Minutes
Last Updated: March 7, 2022
Chances are someone you know has received a call or message from someone pretending to be a government employee. These calls often allege that your information has been compromised or they demand immediate payment. Ignore it. This is just one of the tips that Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General (SSA OIG) is sharing to warn consumers about these scams through our National Slam the Scam Day initiative on March 10, 2022.
Slam the Scam Day is an initiative to raise public awareness of the pervasive scams that continue to plague the nation and is part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) National Consumer Protection Week, happening March 6-12, 2022. The initiative, which began in 2020 to combat Social Security-related scams, is now expanding to include other government imposter scams. In a government imposter scam, someone claims to be an SSA, 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 U.S. mail.
Tips for spotting scams is a major goal of this year’s campaign. SSA OIG partners with other government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the private sector to increase awareness about how to spot government imposter scams and avoid becoming a victim. According to the FTC, from January through September 2021, consumers lost more than $331 million dollars to government imposter scams.
“As we continue working with our law enforcement partners and partners from the private sector to combat these sinister schemes, I urge consumers to simply hang up the phone, or delete suspicious texts and emails, without responding to the scammers,” Inspector General Ennis said. “That is the easiest and most effective way to avoid falling prey to these vicious scams.”
“We are concerned that fraudsters continue trying to trick people into providing personal information or money,” said Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “I urge people to remain alert, hang up if a scammer calls, and ignore their attempts if you receive a suspicious email, text, or letter.”
SSA OIG provides resources on its website and posts tips and warnings on social media platforms. Their webinars and social media chats will give you information to empower you to Slam the Scam.
We urge everyone to be cautious of any contact supposedly from a government agency telling you about a problem you don’t recognize.
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.
- Try to gain your trust by providing fake “documentation,” false “evidence,” or the name of a real government official.
Scammers frequently change their approach, trying new tactics and messaging to trick people. We encourage you to keep up to date on the latest news and advisories by following SSA OIG on Twitter and Facebook or subscribing to receive email alerts.
We encourage you to report Social Security-related scams and fraud online on our SSA OIG website. You can report other government imposter scams on the FTC website. Join us on March 10, on Facebook and Twitter, to participate on National Slam the Scam Day using #SlamTheScam. You can also visit SSA OIG’s Scam Alert page for more information.
Remember, Social Security will never threaten, scare, or pressure you to take immediate action. Recognize the signs of a Social Security-related scam and report it. Together, we can Slam the Scam!
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