Ambush of phony Social Security number calls hits Utahns

SALT LAKE CITY — A string of new scams across Utah have been reported involving live phone calls from fraudsters demanding consumers confirm their Social Security number over the phone, claiming the individual is facing legal action relating to that number.

“Con artists continue to phone us with robo calls and live threats to try to trap Utahns into revealing their social security numbers over the phone. Please stay vigilant and don’t fall for these phony phone calls, just hang up,” Utah Department of Commerce Executive Director Francine A. Giani said in a press release issued last week.

Previous scam reports included robo call recordings where Utahns heard a message claiming their Social Security numbers had been compromised in fraud and demanding that the individual confirm their personal Social Security and bank information to avoid account suspension.

State regulators urge the public to ignore these ambush calls and not respond to any request to repeat your Social Security number over the phone.

Federal investigators report these Social Security calls are more than just a nuisance for phone owners. The Federal Trade Commission reports that 35,000 consumers sent over $10 million to scammers in 2018 related to false Social Security information.

“Remember this Social Security scam is a numbers game for fraudsters. They will keep calling Utah numbers to see who will take the bait,” Utah Division of Consumer Protection Director Daniel O’Bannon said in the press release. “If you are unsure who is on the line, end the call and contact the real government agency instead.”

What consumers need to know about the Social Security Administration 

  • The SSA will never call and ask for your Social Security number. It won’t ask you to pay anything. And it won’t call to threaten your benefits.
  • Your caller ID might show what appears to be the actual Social Security phone number, 1-800-772-1213, but that is part of the scam. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID, making it difficult to trust what you see on the screen.
  • Never give your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Don’t confirm the last 4 digits and don’t give a bank account or credit card number to anybody who contacts you asking for it.
  • Anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card or send cash is a scammer, no matter who they say they are.
  • If you’re worried about a call from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration, get off the phone and call the agency directly at 800-772-1213; TTY 800-325-0778.

To report a scam, or if one is suspected, contact the Federal Trade Commission by clicking here.

For more information on how to protect yourself from scams or to file a complaint, visit the Utah Division of Consumer Protection website.

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