WE ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING HIGH CALL VOLUME. WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE.
Kirtland FCU branches and the Member Contact Center will be closed Monday, June 20 in observance of Juneteenth.
By David Hill, Kirtland FCU Security Team
2019 is sliding into fall, but the Social Security scam calls are still hot. And people are still losing scary amounts of money because of them.
Consumer protection agencies call it the “Social Security impostor scam.”
You get a call with a warning that your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity or because it’s been used in a crime. You are asked to confirm your number or told you need to withdraw money from the bank and buy gift cards in order to resolve the situation.
The phone call may be a robocaller with a message to “press 1” or dial a particular number to speak with a “support representative” from the government to reactivate your Social Security number. Or it could be a live person making threats against you for crimes committed with your Social Security Number unless you confirm certain information or send money to clear up the charges.
The scammers may even use technology to spoof your caller ID to make it look like the Social Security Administration is really calling.
In the last 12 months, people filed more than 76,000 complaints about Social Security impostors, reporting $19 million in losses. The median reported loss last year was $1,500, the FTC said.
People are asked to give up the personal identification numbers (PINs) on the back of gift cards or use virtual currencies like Bitcoin to pay. (According to the FTC’s consumer alert, people withdrew money and fed cash into Bitcoin automatic teller machines.)
After handing over the gift card numbers to the “Social Security office,” one consumer interviewed by Fraud.org was told he would receive a refund equal to the amount he paid to unfreeze his account from the Federal Reserve. Of course, the refund never came, and the man lost nearly $20,000.
The scammers can be clever, and they will try new stories and new methods in order to keep their scam effective and claim the most amount of money they can. With numerous data breaches that have hit corporate America, fraudsters may already have accurate personal information about you, including your real Social Security number. The information is used to build trust and make the call seem more legitimate, he added.
According to Fraud.org and the FTC, here are some important things to remember:
If you have a question, check with the real Social Security Administration. The administration will never contact you out of the blue. The agency’s number is 1-800-772-1213.
Talk about the scam with friends, family and neighbors. Report government impostor scams to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
No legitimate business will call you to request your Social Security number, including Kirtland Federal Credit Union. Feel free to hang up on these calls. If you would like to check the legitimacy of a call, you can always initiate a call to the business yourself to check.
Kirtland FCU will be performing system maintenance on Saturday, April 23 & Sunday, April 24, between 9:00pm–7:00am MDT.
Online, Mobile, and Telephone Banking will be intermittently unavailable during this period. Click here for complete details.