If you get a call telling you your social security number has been linked to suspicious activity and is being suspended, you pay attention. If you're one of the more than 63 million Americans who relies on the Social Security Administration for a check, that call can really scare you. The latest scam is meant to target some of the most vulnerable people in our community; those who are disabled or retired and depend on their social security benefits.
The threatening robocalls come from what appears to be the Social Security Administration telling you that your social security number has been linked to suspicious activity and if you don't take immediate action, your benefits will be cancelled.
A South Florida man reached out to NBC 6 Responds/Telemundo 51 Responde about the calls he's been getting for weeks.
"They call me probably twice a day," the man, who asked not to be identified, said. "It's scary because you feel you are in trouble and probably your reaction is to dial number one because you need to know what happened."
Rosario Mendez with the Federal Trade Commission agrees that the calls can be frightening.
"Usually they threaten, they use pressure and all those things can scare people," Mendez said.
The Social Security Administration is aware of the robocalls and says it's all a scam.
"Social Security employees will not call you, threatening you, asking for money," explained Rick Montero with the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General. "If you're receiving a call, the person is requesting payment of some type usually through debit cards, prepaid debit cards or gift cards or sometimes, wire transfers, that's a clue that it's a fraudulent call."
Mendez advises people to not fall for the scheme.
"If you are dealing with the Social Security Administration, you already have a contact person in that agency and that person will communicate with you directly," she explained.
To report the scam, you can call 1-800-269-0271 or visit https://oig.ssa.gov.
As for what you should do when you get one of these calls, the Federal Trade Commission says you should hang up because if you press anything or try to speak to anyone, the scammers will know they reached a live person.
Because of spoofing, your caller ID may say that phone call is from the Social Security Administration. Don't believe that and never call that number back. If you think you may have a problem with your social security benefits, the agency says you should go to their local office.