Spike in Social Security Scam Raises Caution for Consumers
Attorney General Jim Hood is warning Mississippians of a rise in scam calls that try to get you to believe your Social Security Number has been suspended.
“Your Social Security Number will never be suspended,” General Hood warned. “These scam artists are good at what they do in making you think they’re a professional trying to help you or protect you from a scam, but really they’re just trying to steal your personal information. The only thing you should do is hang up immediately.”
The caller says they are from the government and that your social security number has been suspended. He sounds very professional and says a reactivation is needed for the suspended SSN, claiming the number was suspended because of some connection to fraud or other criminal activity. The caller says you must call a separate number to clear up the problem, which is where you will be asked for personal information.
From January 28 through February 1, the AG’s office received 14 calls about this scam. That’s up from nine the previous week, and two from the same time last month.
Here are a few tips to protect yourself:
- Never give out or confirm personal information over the phone, via email, or on a website until you’ve checked out whoever is asking you for it.
- Do not trust a name, phone number, or email address just because it seems to be connected with the government. Con artists use official-sounding names and may fake caller ID or email address information to make you trust them.
- The government normally contacts people by postal mail.
- Contact government agencies directly, using telephone numbers and website addresses you know to be legitimate.
If you need any additional information regarding this scam, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418 or 601-359-4230.