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Handling calls claiming there is a problem with your account

Chameleon007 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Chameleon007 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Social Security scams have been on the rise of late and some experts say it will only get worse in 2022. Scams range from email fraud to callers posing as Social Security officials in dire need of your personal information over the phone. If you get a call from someone claiming there’s a problem with your Social Security number or account, here’s how to protect yourself.

See: Social Security Scams: 3 Common Requests and How to Report Them
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The Social Security Administration states that if there is a problem with any aspect of your number, account, etc., they will send you a letter first. In general, they will only call you if you have previously requested the call yourself or if you have ongoing business with them.

One of the latest scam tricks is fraudsters using robocalls or live callers posing as government employees and claiming that there is identity theft or some other problem with your SSN, account or benefits. These criminals often threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase your benefit check, protect assets, or resolve alleged identity theft. Then they demand payment via retail gift card, bank transfer, prepaid debit cards, digital currency or even ask you to send cash.

Important to remember: Social Security employees will never threaten you for information or promise benefits in exchange for your money or personal information. This is Social Security – they have all your personal information.

The Social Security Administration says it is looking forward to:

  • A caller who says there is a problem with your SSN or account.

  • Any call asking you to pay a fine or debt by gift cards, wire transfers, prepaid debit cards, internet currency or cash by mail.

  • Scammers pretending to be ours or another government agency. Caller ID or documents sent by email may look official but are not.

Social Security will never threaten you, suspend your SSN, demand immediate payment from you, demand cash, prepaid debit card, internet currency or wire transfer, ask for gift card numbers over the phone or transfer/post cash, ask for personal or bank information to send you a COLA to give.

See: Social Security Scams: How to Protect Yourself
Find: How To Increase Your Social Security Benefit With Supplemental Security Income

If you receive one of these calls, hang up. You can report the criminals through the agency’s Inspector General’s website or call the fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Social Security Scams: How to deal with calls claiming there is a problem with your account