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June 8, 2013

Social Security: Dads, don't get hooked by 'phishing' scams

This month, in honor of fathers everywhere, I want to share this article written by a fellow Social Security employee:

This Father’s Day, you may be inclined to spend some quality time with Dad, maybe take him out camping or fishing. But try to make sure that nobody else tries to “phish” with you or your father.

These days, all people (including fathers and sons) need to be cautious of scams — Internet, mail, and even phone scams — which can damage your credit score and wallet. Scam artists have become shrewd. Any time someone asks for your personal information, you should be wary. Particularly cruel are swindlers who target Social Security beneficiaries. 

As a rule of thumb, Social Security will not call or email you for your personal information such as your Social Security number or banking information. If someone contacts you and asks for this kind of information and claims to be from Social Security, do not give out your personal information without first contacting Social Security to verify the validity of the person contacting you. It could be an identity thief on the other end phishing for your personal information. Just call the local Social Security office, or Social Security’s toll-free number at (800) 772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778).

If you receive a suspicious call, please report it to the Fraud Hotline. Reports may be made online at www.socialsecurity.gov/fraudreport/oig/public_fraud_reporting/form.htm or by telephone at (800) 269-0271. The phone line is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time; online reports can be made any time. Please include the following details:

The alleged suspect(s) and victim(s) names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers;

Description of the fraud and the location where the fraud took place;

When and how the fraud was committed;

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