Your Social Security Number Has Been Suspended
With today’s technology driven society and all the gadgets we have access to, there are always people that are trying to trick, coerce, or force you into providing information or money. On your smartphone you get an Unknown Caller, No Caller ID or a number local to your area and what do you do, like many people you answer it. If you don’t answer the call, they usually do not leave a message. Sometimes, however, they do leave a voicemail and if you happen to pick it up, you may have heard a recorded voice from the Social Security Administration informing you that your Social Security Number (SSN) has been “suspended.”
The idea of these calls using names such as the SSA or Internal Revenue Service is to get unsuspecting victims to send them money.
In a recent email from the SSA that was sent to persons with a “my Social Security” account, they state that they may call you in certain situations but will never do any of the following:
- Threaten you.
- Suspend your Social Security Number.
- Demand immediate payment from you in the form of cash, debit or credit card, gift card or wire transfer.
- They will never ask for gift card numbers, wire transfer instructions or for you to mail cash.
It is recommended that you do not answer calls from unknown numbers, no caller id or numbers you do not recognize as this confirms that there is a person at the number they are calling and the calls will increase. Most cell phones have a feature that allows you to block numbers although most scammers have many numbers they use to call and blocking one or two may not stop the calls forever but may give you peace from a ringing phone in the short term.
The IRS and the SSA typically only uses the U.S. Postal Service for communication. They prepare a letter, stamp it and put it in the mail. Government agencies will not email you or leave an automated voice message asking for personally identifiable information. If a call seems to imply extreme urgency in your reply, it’s probably a scam.
The SSA recommends that if you receive a questionable call or you have provided personal information to someone that says they are from the SSA to report it to the Office of the Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/.
It is also recommended that you set up your “my Social Security” account using the following link https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
The “my Social Security” account allows you to get personalized retirement benefit estimates, set up or change direct deposit, get your Social Security 1099 (SSA-1099) form, change your address with SSA or request a new social security card. These are some of the benefits offered and they are constantly adding new features to enhance your experience.
The information provided is not a complete analysis of every material fact and are subject to change.
Securities and some investment advisory services are offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a broker/dealer and Registered Investment Adviser.
Financial Planning and some investment advisory services are offered through Cameron Thornton Associates, a Registered Investment Adviser.
Cameron Thornton Associates and Cetera Advisor Networks LLC are non-affiliated companies.
The opinions expressed in this letter are those of Cameron M. Thornton, CFP®. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. All economic and performance information is historical and not indicative of future results. You cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance does not guarantee results.
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Cameron M. Thornton, CFP® is a Representative with Cetera Advisor Networks LLC and may be reached at www.cameronthornton.com or (818) 841-1746.