Last week, the Federal Trade Commission released an official statement regarding reports of a new phone scam telling targets their Social Security number has been “suspended.”
The caller, impersonating a government official, attempts to trick call recipients into giving up personal information, saying due to some kind of fraud their SSN will need to be reactivated.
In order to reactivate, the caller will press their victim into the classic account “verification” process with which we’ve become so familiar: asking for a ton of sensitive personal details the scammer can use later to steal their victim’s identity.
The key to avoiding this scam is understanding there’s no such thing as Social Security number suspension. Neither the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, nor any other federal entity with which a scammer might claim to be associated will EVER suspend a Social Security number. That’s just not how SSNs work.
No matter what a caller might say to you to intimidate you, if you hear that your SSN is suspended, the scam should be dead in the water.
This one is absolute baloney.
As with any sketchy phone call asking you for personal information like your name, address, bank information, Social Security information, or the names of those close to you, hang up the phone immediately.
Don’t attempt to speak to, argue with, or insult the caller (not only are you giving them more opportunity to manipulate you, but also some phone scammers are known to record your voice so they can use it to authorize charges and changes to your accounts). Just hang up.