Scammers are using scare tactics and prepaid cards to steal victims’ money in a new Social Security scam.
Fraudsters are calling potential victims claiming they are from the Social Security Administration and reporting there has been suspicious activity involving the victim’s Social Security number (SSN), according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Potential victims are encouraged to transfer money from their bank account to a prepaid debit or other reloadable card in order to protect their money. The potential victim is then contacted by the criminals posing as Social Security Administration agents to confirm that the funds have been transferred to a reloadable card and to obtain the card’s account number and PIN for their records. The prepaid card is then emptied of its funds.
It is the latest scam involving criminals claiming to be Social Security Administration agents. Another common scam involves fraudsters calling potential victims to say that their Social Security Number has been suspended and can no longer be used. The potential victim is required to verify his or her social security number along with other personal information so that the number can be reinstated. Once the criminals obtain this information, they can steal victims’ identities and use them to apply for loans in their names, to get credit cards in their names, to clone debit cards, to make fraudulent purchases, etc.
How can you protect yourself?
Anyone claiming to be from the Social Securing Administration, or any other government agency should be regarded with suspicion. Hang up if they begin asking for your personal information, including your SSN. Never give out your personal information over the phone. Emails, texts, or any other electronic communication should not include personal information. Call the Social Security Administration directly at (800) 772-1213 if you suspect a problem.
Credit and identity theft monitoring are two more ways to protect your identity. Monitoring your credit report and non-credit related information can help you become aware of suspicious activity and protect your finances.
Is your personal information on the dark web? Make sure your identity isn’t at risk!