Thursday, March 9, 2023
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has designated March 9 as its annual Slam the Scam Day. The day is intended to raise awareness of Social Security-related and other government imposter scams. Keeping informed about these types of scams is the most effective method for deterring cyber criminals. On this Slam the Scam Day, take proactive steps to safeguard your personal information by learning the telltale signs of common government imposter scams and how to report them.
National Slam the Scam Day began in 2020 to educate the public on ways to combat Social Security-related scams. Due to the frequently changing tactics used by scammers, the initiative has since expanded to include other government imposter scams. Slam the Scam Day is held annually as part of the Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week, (NCPW), March 5-11, 2023.
Signs of a Scam
Scammers impersonating the SSA, or other government employees, use a range of tactics to deceive individuals into giving up personal information or money. Often, these scams exploit a potential victim’s fear by claiming that there is a problem with their Social Security number and threatening legal action or arrest if payment isn’t provided. The SSA has issued several tips to help individuals protect themselves from fraudulent calls, texts, emails, messages on social media, or letters in the mail.
Real government officials will NEVER:
- Threaten you with arrest or legal action because you don’t agree to pay money immediately.
- Suspend your Social Security number.
- Claim to need personal information or payment to activate a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) or other benefit increase.
- Pressure you to take immediate action, including sharing personal information.
- Ask you to pay with gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or by mailing cash.
- Threaten to seize your bank account.
- Offer to move your money to a “protected” bank account.
- Demand secrecy.
Slam the Scam!
If you receive a suspicious call, text, email, social media message, or letter from someone claiming to be from the SSA or a different government agency, immediately hang up or ignore the message. Then, report the scam to local, state, and federal government agencies!
When you report a scam, you provide powerful data that helps government agencies to inform others, identify trends, refine strategies, and take legal action against cyber criminals. With so many kinds of scams, it's hard to figure out where to report each type.
To learn how and where to report scams, visit: https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds
Categories: Science and Technology