Almost everyone has received a phone call from someone pretending to be with the government, alleging that personal information has been compromised or claiming that an immediate payment is due.
Ignore these calls says the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The office of the Inspector General (OIG), along with the SSA is warning consumers about these calls through the National Slam the Scam Day initiative, which will take place March 10.
Slam the Scam Day is meant to raise public awareness of the pervasive scams which take place throughout the United States.
The initiative is part of the Federal Trade Commissions’ National Consumer Protection Week and offers tips for spotting scams.
Affording to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers last more than $331 million to government imposter scams From January through September of last year.
The OIG urges everyone to be cautious of any contact from a supposed government agency informing an individual of a problem they don’t recognize.
Government officials will never threaten arrest or legal action against an individual unless they send money, said the OIG, nor will they promise to increase benefits or resolve a problem if the individual pays a fee or moves money into a protected account.
Additionally, the OIG said officials never require payment with gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, internet currency or by mailing cash.
Lastly, officials will never try to gain an individual’s trust by providing fake documentation, false evidence or the name of a real government official.
According to the OIG, scammers frequently change their approach and try new tactics and messaging to trick people.
The public is encouraged to report social security-related scams and fraud online at oig.ssa.gov.