2023’s National “Slam the Scam” Day is Thursday, March 9. This yearly event was created by the Social Security Administration in 2020 to raise awareness for false government scams. It is one part of the larger National Consumer Protection Week created by the Federal Trade Commission which takes place March 5-11.
What is a Social Security Scam?
These types of scams are best defined as a call, text, email, or paper mail claiming to be from the Social Security Administration or another government entity in attempt to obtain personal information or funds. They may even send stolen names or picture evidence to “prove” their identity.
How To #SlamTheScam
Here are some tips and tricks to help you spot and potentially stop these fraudulent calls and messages.
When in Doubt, Don’t Answer
It is always advisable to ignore a call from an unknown number if you are not expecting one. If the call is important, they will likely leave a voicemail. Some phones even come preset with spam detection. This will either list the incoming call with a signifier such as “Spam Likely” or ignore the call for you altogether. Many times if these scammers leave a message, it will be incoherent or vague. It is best to only return phone calls when you’ve determined with certainty what they are calling for.
The following are known tactics of phone and digital messaging scams:
- Threaten arrest, pursue legal action, or seizure of assets
- Suspend social security information
- Request personal information or payment to solidify SSAThe Social Security Administration (SSA) is a U.S. government agency that administers social programs covering disability, retirement, and survivors' benefits. It was created in 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. benefits
- Pressure you to act immediately
- Request payment in the form of gift cards, wire transfers, cash by mail, or cryptocurrency
- Request your bank account information to move the money for you
- Demand confidentiality
The Government Doesn’t Accept Phone Payments
If you are unsure whether or not you are speaking to a government entity, know that no government employee will ask for payment information over the phone. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from the government asking you for payment of any form, cut off contact immediately.
If You Have Been Scammed
It is easy to feel shame after becoming a victim of a scam, but it’s important to remember a few things. First, you are not alone. Millions of well-informed, well-intentioned people are scammed every day. Secondly, it’s not your fault. You did not commit any crime, you had a crime committed against you. There is no reason to be silent. Rather, it is imperative that you report the scam to the Social Security Administration and the three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Report The Scam
If you believe you received a scam call or were affected by one, you should immediately report it to the Social Security Administration here. Each report is placing vital information in SSA’s hands to help stop these scammers, so no tip is too small.
Social Media Outreach
SSA is urging social media users to create content to spread awareness with their downloadable digital toolkit. You can also spread the word by using the hashtag #SlamTheScam on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to share stories that may help others identify these scammers.
How We Can Help
Hoglund Law has over 70 years of combined experience with credit and debt concerns for our clients. We offer 100% free consultations to determine your best financial path forward. Contact Hoglund Law today for more information.