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Explore the latest happenings at Kirtland FCU and learn about important topics from around the financial world. Here’s your insight! To learn about retirements, investments and financial planning, check out Invested now.

The Social Security Call

By Ashleigh, K-Staff

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Few pieces of personal information are as integral to your financial life as your Social Security number (SSN). Required for starting a new job, enrolling in school, opening a bank account, and using credit, your SSN unlocks doors that protect your money and your identity—making it a deliciously attractive target for scammers.

How does the scam work?

Phone scams attempting to gain access to your SSN are plentiful, and their methods are varied. A phone number, which may or may not mimic an actual Social Security Administration phone number, pops up on your phone. When you answer, the caller informs you that your SSN has been compromised or is currently locked as a result of fraudulent activity. They may even threaten your Social Security benefits if you don’t cooperate.
 
No matter the story, the scammer concludes by asking you to confirm your SSN or turn over other identifying information such as your birth date. Many scammers also ask for payment to “unlock” your SSN. 

How do I avoid this scam?

Awareness is key.

The Social Security Administration will NEVER call you requesting personal information of any kind, threaten your benefits, or ask for payments.

NEVER give out your SSN—not even the last four digits—to anyone who contacts you by phone.

ALWAYS be suspicious of a call you did not initiate. If you did initiate a call, as you might to your credit union or credit card company, be aware of your surroundings if asked for information to help identify you.

NEVER make any kind of payment on a call like this. Callers asking for wire transfers or gift cards as payment are also thieves. Requesting these methods of payment is a big red flag.

NEVER trust the caller ID on your phone. It’s shockingly simple to clone a number so the call appears to come from a legitimate Social Security Administration phone number.
If you do receive one of these calls, do not reveal any personal information. Instead, hang up and call the Social Security Administration directly at 1-800-772-1213 to check. 

If you believe you have discovered a scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

Do you have a question or need help reporting an issue? Give us a call at 1.800.880.5328!

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