If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the government or law enforcement, it’s almost certainly a scam.
One common scam involves a phone call that supposedly comes from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). They may claim that your Social Security number is about to be suspended due to criminal or fraudulent activities.
Criminals can spoof their caller ID phone number, making it look like the call is actually coming from a government agency.
Your Social Security number is one of your most crucial pieces of personal data and one which you need to keep private. Scammers use fraudulent phone calls to trick people into disclosing this information. It’s important that you never give out personal information such as a Social Security number, credit card number or bank account number to someone who calls you on the phone.
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If they were actually calling from the SSA or CMS, which they are not, they’d already know your name and SSN. The SSA will never call you by phone to threaten taking away your benefits, just like the IRS and FBI won’t ever call you to threaten legal action if you don’t send them money. It just doesn’t happen that way. You’ll also never be asked to pay any type of legitimate fine or penalty via wire transfer or gift card.
Your best bet if you receive such a call is to just hang up. If you get a robocall voice mail claiming to be from the SSA, CMS, IRS, FBI or law enforcement, delete it without calling back.
If you have been scammed, search on Google for your state’s consumer protection agency and check for a phone number for victims to report fraud, or call the police.
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