With the aid of technology, scammers are always coming up with new devious ways to get their hands on your sensitive information and hard-earned cash. These con artists are getting sophisticated and they are polishing their techniques constantly, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.
Which is why we at Komando.com do our best to keep you up to date on all the attacks making the rounds.
Take this new scourge that’s currently plaguing the country.
It’s so widespread that this government agency’s Inspector General has issued a new notice to warn us about this devious scam. Read and learn how to protect yourself against it!
New SSA Warning you need to know about
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has sent out a new warning about a new phone scam that’s quickly spreading like wildfire all over the country.
The agency is urging everyone to watch out for fraudsters that are spoofing the Social Security Administration’s official 1-800 number. Why? So they can betray your trust and dupe you into giving up your sensitive information — including your Social Security Number and banking information.
Like all other phishing scams, this is a big deal since it allows these criminals to steal your identity and quickly drain your bank accounts if you take the bait!
What is caller ID spoofing?
Caller ID or phone number spoofing is a growing plague that’s not only annoying, but it is also equally dangerous, too.
With this scheme, criminals are using VOIP (voice-over-IP) and phone spoofing software to impersonate a phone number’s caller ID. This means they could make any call show up on your phone as if it is coming from a familiar person, company or organization.
The variety of caller ID spoofing scams that are emerging is troubling. Scammers are spoofing the numbers government agencies like the FBI and the DHS, banking institutions like Wells Fargo, and worse yet, even your own phone number!
In fact, these Caller ID phone phishing scams (also known as vishing) are getting so sophisticated and professionally handled that they’re fooling even the most tech-savvy people around. Click here to read one of the most interesting phone spoofing phishing attempts.
SSA caller ID spoofing scam
Gale Stallworth Stone, Acting Inspector General of Social Security, said that the SSA has received numerous complaints about fraudulent phone calls that are displaying the SSA’s national customer service number, 1-800-772-1213, on their caller ID.
Here’s how it works. People who have answered the questionable phone calls reported that the caller pretends to be an SSA employee and will then try and scare you into believing that the agency is missing some of your important information such as your Social Security Number (SSN).
Another variation has the caller claiming that the SSA needs additional information from you so they can increase your benefit payout. In some cases, the caller will even say that the SSA will terminate your benefits if you don’t give out your information.
Caller ID spoofing ploys, such as these SSA phone scams, are now widespread issues, so please be careful when doing business over the phone. Be forewarned, be forearmed.
Phone safety tips
To help you identify SSA spoofing calls, the agency provided a few general tips.
First, the agency stressed that SSA employees will never, ever contact you for customer service purposes.
Second, the agency noted that although there may be some situations when an SSA employee may request you to confirm your personal information over the phone, real employees will never threaten you nor promise you a benefit approval or increase in exchange for that information.
If you do receive this type of call, it’s one hundred percent fraudulent and please hang up immediately! Then report the incident as soon as you can to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
And remember, with all the spoofing scams going around, it’s safer that you initiate the call. In the SSA’s case, contact its official customer service number (1-800-772-1213) directly if you have any questions.
Always be vigilant and trust your instincts. If something feels even slightly amiss on an “official” phone call, hang up.
Also, scammers will often scare you into a state of urgency so if you ever receive a questionable phone call (or any phone call, for that matter), take your time to assess the situation and never, ever feel pressured into giving away any of your information. These criminals are counting on it.
Is your phone safe? Hackers can easily hijack it and steal your information
Your phone is your most prized possession, making it the most vulnerable security risk you own. Did you know that hackers are able to access nearly all your accounts with just your phone number?
In this episode of Komando on Demand, Kim explores the serious threat of hijacking smartphones and how cybercriminals can ruin your life. Founder and CEO of InForceCyber.com Asen Kehayov, who is a Certified Ethical Hacker from Bulgaria, advises on what people can do to safeguard their data.