We are committed to educating our community members about scams targeting seniors in Santa Clara County; as well as providing up-to-date information offering protection against such scams. This page offers timely data about scams reported, steps to take when targeted, and how to avoid these scams. Guidance is made available as scams are identified.
Receive updates on identified scams targeting seniors by visiting the national database: fraud.org.
FTC Warns of Fake Social Security Scam Calls
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to obtain your Social Security number (SSN) and even take your money.
Scam Scenario 0ne: In one version of the scam, the caller says your SSN has been linked to a crime (often, they say it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. Then they say your Social Security number is blocked–but they might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. They will then ask you to confirm your Social Security number.
Scam Scenario Two: In other variations, they’ll say that somebody used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards, and you could lose your benefits. They’ll also might warn you that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that they’ll tell you how to keep it safe.
These scenarios are scams
- The SSA will never call and ask for your SSN.
- SSA will not ask you to pay anything.
- SSA will not call to threaten your benefits.
- Your caller ID might show the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213). Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. Do not trust that number; ignore the call.
- Never provide your SSN nor confirm the last four digits of SSN to anyone who contacts you in this way. Do not provide a bank account nor credit card number–ever–to anybody who contacts you by phone asking for it.
- Be wary of anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash. This individual is always a scammer.
If you are suspicious about a call from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration, simply hang up and call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213.
Obtain contact information for your local Social Security office by speaking with a Sourcewise Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.