This Is the Best Way to Guard Your Social Security From Thieves

Photo by v.gi / Shutterstock.com

It’s not just phony calls from the IRS that you should be wary of these days.

Fraudsters are increasingly impersonating the Social Security Administration, according to the actual SSA.

The Federal Trade Commission, which receives and analyzes complaints about identity theft, says the scammers are after Social Security numbers.

In some cases, a caller impersonates an SSA employee and asks folks to confirm their Social Security numbers because of a computer problem.

In other cases, the imposter is a website that resembles an official website designed to allow people to apply for a Social Security card. In fact, the site is designed to steal sensitive personal information.

What you should know

Employees of the Social Security Administration sometimes call citizens. But the federal agency notes there are “only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen,” in which employees might request that a citizen confirm personal information over the phone.

The SSA also has a website: SSA.gov. But that’s the one and only legitimate official website for Social Security.

What you should do

The Federal Trade Commission issued the following tips this week, in light of the increase in Social Security scams:

  • Don’t give the caller your information. Never give out or confirm sensitive information – like your bank account, credit card or Social Security number – unless you know who you’re dealing with. If someone has contacted you, you can’t be sure who they are.
  • Don’t trust a name or number. Con artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them. To make their call seem legitimate, scammers use internet technology to spoof their area code – so although it may seem they are calling from Washington, D.C., they could be calling from anywhere in the world.
  • Check with the Social Security Administration. The SSA has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.

These are critical but common-sense tips for warding off identity thieves. When it comes to protecting your Social Security benefits specifically, the best precaution is to lock down your SSA.gov account.

We detail how to do that in “3 Wise Ways to Protect Your Social Security Number Today.” That article also explains why you should protect your number:

“Criminals who have stolen your Social Security number or other personal information can use that information to create an SSA.gov account in your name. Once they have control of your account, they can use it to divert your benefits.”

So, even if you have yet to start receiving Social Security benefits, create and secure your SSA.gov account before someone else does.

To learn more about creating and using your SSA.gov account, check out the administration’s video that walks you through it:

What’s your take on the rise in Social Security impersonators? Sound off below or over on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store
19 Things You Should Never Buy at a Grocery Store

These household necessities are overpriced at the grocery store. Get them cheaper at these places instead.

6 Tech Gadgets That Make Your Daily Life Easier
6 Tech Gadgets That Make Your Daily Life Easier

These products on Amazon will ease your worries and simplify your routine.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You
7 Common Online Shopping Mistakes That Will Cost You

How many of these costly online shopping missteps are you making without realizing it?

7 Reasons You Should Not Move for Retirement
7 Reasons You Should Not Move for Retirement

Sunny skies and warm breezes sound great. But in reality, you might be better off retiring closer to home. Here’s why.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
21 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

Dollar stores have great bargains on these familiar purchases. Yes, even pregnancy tests.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

8 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
8 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
16 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price
9 Indestructible Products That Are Worth the Price

If you’re willing to pay a little more for these products, you may never have to shop for another again.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill
8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill

No matter what price you are paying for internet service, taking these simple steps can lower it.

Americans Agree on These 3 Changes to Social Security
Americans Agree on These 3 Changes to Social Security

In an era of division, we are united about these changes to the Social Security system.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.