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The Federal Trade Commission Warning Regarding a New Social Security Scam

2/24/2016

It seems there is a new email scam every week - maybe even every day! Scammers have become more advanced in their methods and look to foster a sense of fear - especially during tax season.

You check your email and have a new message from the Social Security Administration.  The email promises you added protection in regards to your personal information, offers tips on how to be safer online and during tax time and they even offer you a link to click on and fill out a few bits of personal information. Stop! Don’t click that link!

It’s a SCAM! The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a warning about this scam and AARP has stepped in by providing the following information with what you need to know and what you should do if you are targeted.

How it works…

  • Scammers pretending to be from the SSA send out the email offering new features to help consumers monitor their credit and learn whether someone is engaging in unauthorized use of their Social Security number.
  • It sounds very official and may even mention the “SAFE Act of 2015.”

What you need to know…

  • The Social Security Administration is not offering this program. It’s actually a “phishing email” designed to get you to click on the link. But, doing so can cause “malware” to be installed on your computer, like viruses and spyware.
  • The link might also take you to a “spoof” site designed to look like the SSA’s website and ask you to provide personal information, like your Social Security number and bank or credit union account numbers. Don’t do it!

 

What to do…

  • If you get a questionable email, DO NOT click on any links. Instead, report it to the Federal Trade Commission by forwarding it to spam@uce.gov.
  • Unsure about whether it’s real? Here are a couple clues: “hover” your cursor over the address link in the email if it’s fake, you’ll see that the address is an unrelated .com address, not the .gov address it appears to be. And did it end up in your junk folder? If so, that’s because your email filters recognized that it wasn’t for real.
  • If you’re unsure if an email is coming from the government, call them yourself. But use an email address you find yourself on the official website, not the contact info listed in the email.

If you have any questions or you have received this type of email and need help in determining if you have been the victim of a scam, contact Shore to Shore immediately and we can help guide you in your next steps.



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