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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate
10 Times You’re Right to Be a Cheapskate

Clever shoppers can save money without sacrificing quality. Here is how to do it.

This Is the Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Meds
This Is the Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Meds

The right timing can help you prevent a big — and possibly fatal — mistake.

This Is the Best Online Savings Account for 2021
This Is the Best Online Savings Account for 2021

The rate of return is just one of several reasons this account stands out.

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.

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

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.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

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.