Police: Social Security scam involves fake caller ID info

November 19, 2018

Sandwich police issued an advisory this past week concerning a telephone scam in which the callers refer to the Social Security Administration.

In a statement, police advised residents:

“If you get a call that looks like it’s from the Social Security Administration (SSA), think twice. Scammers are spoofing SSA’s 1-800 customer service number to try to get your personal information. Spoofing means that scammers can call from anywhere, but they make your caller ID show a different number – often one that looks legit.

“These scam calls are happening across the nation, according to SSA: Your phone rings. Your caller ID shows that it’s the SSA calling from 1-800-772-1213. The caller says he works for the Social Security Administration and needs your personal information – like your Social Security number – to increase your benefits payment. (Or he threatens to cut off your benefits if you don’t give the information.) But it’s not really the Social Security Administration calling. Yes, it is the SSA’s real phone number, but the scammers on the phone are spoofing the number to make the call look real.”

What should you do if you get one of these calls? Hang up. Remember:

• Real SSA employees will never threaten you to get personal information. They also won’t promise to increase your benefits in exchange for information. If they do, it’s a scam.

• If you have any doubt, hang up and call SSA directly. Call 1-800-772-1213 – that really is the phone number for the Social Security Administration. If you dial that number directly, you know who you’re getting. But remember that you can’t trust caller ID. If a call appears to come in from that number, you can’t be sure it’s really SSA calling.

The police statement also noted, “Another one happening in our area is someone calling alleging they are from the sheriff’s office and there is a warrant for your arrest. They will state that you missed jury duty and a warrant has been issued. Then they will ask that you pay for the warrant over the phone. This is a scam – you cannot take care of any warrant over the phone. Again, never give out personal information over the phone and do not send money over the phone.”

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