National “Slam the Scam” DayReading Time: 2 Minutes
Last Updated: March 5, 2020
Today is National “Slam the Scam” Day! What does that mean?
We created National “Slam the Scam” Day to warn Americans about widespread phone scams where callers impersonate government officials, most often Social Security, to gain your trust and steal your money. The most effective way to defeat scammers is by knowing how to identify scams, then hanging up or ignoring the calls.
What you can do
If you get a Social Security scam phone call, hang up, report it to my office at https://oig.ssa.gov, and tell your family and friends about it!
Today and every day, we are telling as many people as we can that government agencies will never:
- Call you unsolicited to suspend your Social Security number, tell you about crimes committed in your name, or offer to resolve identity theft or a benefit problem in exchange for payment.
- Insist you pay fines, fees, or debts immediately with retail gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
- Insist on secrecy about a legal problem, or tell you to make up stories to tell family, friends, or store employees.
These scammers continue to develop new ways to mislead you. They might use the names of Social Security officials and tell you look them up on our public websites (where they learned the names themselves). Or, they might email you official-looking documents with a letterhead that looks like it’s from Social Security or Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Don’t believe them! Social Security will NEVER email you attachments that have your personal information in them.
If you ever owe money to Social Security, the agency will mail you a letter, explaining your payment options and your appeal rights. If you get a call about a Social Security problem, be very cautious. If you do not have ongoing business with the agency, or if the caller mentions suspending your Social Security number or makes other threats, the call is a scam. Ignore it, hang up, and report it to us. We are working to stop the scams and educate people to avoid becoming victims.
Tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern time, I will be on Facebook Live with Social Security and the Federal Trade Commission to talk about National “Slam the Scam” Day and all that we’re doing to fight Social Security phone scams. Follow Social Security — and the Social Security OIG — on Facebook and Twitter, to stay up-to-date on Social Security scams as well as all of our work to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in Social Security programs. Visit https://oig.ssa.gov/scam for more information.
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