NYS Division of Consumer Protection Alerts Consumers to Social Security Administration Call Scams
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued a consumer alert regarding scammers impersonating employees from the Social Security Administration to steal personal information from unsuspecting victims.
In most cases, the caller requests personal information such as a Social Security Number, date of birth, mother's maiden name, and/or bank account information. As an excuse to ask for the information, the impersonator may claim that the Social Security Administration (SSA) “
“computers are down," or they may discuss enrollment in a Medicare prescription drug program.
“Scam artists are using official-sounding calls to try and scare individuals into sharing their personal information,” said New York State Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, who oversees the Division of Consumer Protection. “Government agencies do not typically call people with little or no warning asking for sensitive information or trying to get a payment over the phone. We urge New Yorkers: Do not give any sensitive information to unsolicited callers. Do not play their game.”
Consumers should not provide any information to these individuals as the purpose of the call is to steal identities and/or money from unsuspecting victims.
The scam employs two methodologies: live individuals posing as SSA employees or automated recordings stating, “Your Social Security Number has been ‘suspended’ for suspicion of illegal activity. Call this number immediately.”
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection, the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security Administration warn consumers to be suspicious of any calls requesting personal information and to take note of the following tips:
The New York State Division of Consumer Protection investigates Do Not Call violations and provides voluntary mediation between a consumer and a business when a consumer has been unsuccessful at reaching a resolution on their own. The Consumer Assistance Helpline 1-800-697-1220 is available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, excluding State Holidays, and consumer complaints can be filed at any time at www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection. The Division can also be reached via Twitter at @NYSConsumer or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nysconsumer.