Phone calls from Social Security

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GS
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Phone calls from Social Security

Post by GS » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:22 am

I have friends who had Social Security phone them after they applied for benefits with questions about their application. I read a Clark Howard newsletter today warning of a Social Security phone scam which has spoofed Social Security's 800 number to show up on caller-id. How have fellow Boglehead bloggers who received phone calls from Social Security handled them?

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BolderBoy
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by BolderBoy » Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:32 am

GS wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:22 am
I have friends who had Social Security phone them after they applied for benefits with questions about their application. I read a Clark Howard newsletter today warning of a Social Security phone scam which has spoofed Social Security's 800 number to show up on caller-id. How have fellow Boglehead bloggers who received phone calls from Social Security handled them?
My sister applied for MC & SS in person at an SS office in April 2017. Several weeks later a call came for her from someone claiming to be from SS. I laughed at him and hung up. He called back. I laughed at him again and said I know all about the scam and hung up. He called back and immediately said, "This isn't a scam, I'm really from SS, let me talk to [sister's name]."

So I handed her the phone and they had a good laugh about my paranoia. I'm going to hang onto that paranoia...
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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:03 pm

This was years ago, but one time I received a phone call claiming to be from a bank at which I held a deposit, the caller said they wanted to do something or other but needed to be sure it was me so asked for the answers to my security questions. I told them to find another sucker and hung up.

Never one to leave everybody else at risk, I phoned the bank. The person told me it was legit. I asked for a supervisor and pointed out the Federal Trade Commission says specifically no legitimate bank will ever do such a thing.

Later somebody else called me, perhaps a customer service manager, and explained that's what they do. I pointed the person the the FTC's webpage.

It was a very disappointing episode.

PJW

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ResearchMed
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:14 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:03 pm
This was years ago, but one time I received a phone call claiming to be from a bank at which I held a deposit, the caller said they wanted to do something or other but needed to be sure it was me so asked for the answers to my security questions. I told them to find another sucker and hung up.

Never one to leave everybody else at risk, I phoned the bank. The person told me it was legit. I asked for a supervisor and pointed out the Federal Trade Commission says specifically no legitimate bank will ever do such a thing.

Later somebody else called me, perhaps a customer service manager, and explained that's what they do. I pointed the person the the FTC's webpage.

It was a very disappointing episode.

PJW
We very occasionally get an unexpected call from some company/vendor claiming to be the one we do business with. Regardless of whether or not they ask for answers to our security questions (and yes, that is IDIOTIC, if they call you!), we insist that we will not have ANY conversation when they called us.
We explain that they can give us their name and extension number so we can reach them through the main PUBLICLY listed phone number.
That usually ends the conversation, either because they hang up or because they start giving excuses so we hang up.
Very rarely, it's "real", and we double check OUR known access phone number for the vendor, we call back, and get the person.

RM
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radiowave
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by radiowave » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:32 pm

About a month ago, my spouse received 3 phone calls from the "IRS" in rapid succession, claiming she owed thousands of dollars and the police had a warrant for her arrest. She was a bit rattled and called the local PD. They explained it was a common scam and likely originate in a foreign country so there wasn't much they could do. Fortunately no further information was given to them. I've been curious, there must be some pipeline where personal info when found is sold and then it becomes a feeding frenzy for the scammers to get there first. No further calls since Sept. so the info must have a shelf life.
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Lancelot
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by Lancelot » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:02 pm

I recently applied for SS Divorced Spousal benefits, but the call I received was initiated by my reply to a SS rep advising me that I needed to send some paper documents for my application. I replied stating that I would call her during business hours and she immediately replied, "I'm still here, can I call you now?" I said yes and she was professional asking me to verify my mother's maiden name, zip code, etc.

My scam radar never gave me pause, but the OP is correct to be alert to fraud.
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yohac
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by yohac » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:04 pm

DW got a legit call from SS after she applied. Not sure why since hers was a routine online application. Unless it was to verify that she actually exists.

Austintatious
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by Austintatious » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:30 pm

DW recently applied online for a spousal benefit. The application was acknowledged by SS via email, within minutes of submitting the application. Another email arrived the next day, advising her of the location of the SS center handling her application and advising her that she may expect a phone call from SS to confirm information relative to the application and that the call(s) might occur in the evening or on a weekend. I've seen other posts here confirming the same kind of notification by SS. It's certainly a good idea to be aware of the potential for skulduggery but it seems clear that SS does use the telephone to verify information regarding an application for benefits.

blgaarder
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by blgaarder » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:20 pm

I got three calls in one day last week from "Linda" claiming to be from SS.

Her voice sounded like the IRS scammer who says that the local cops will be called.

All three calls broke up a lot - poor internet connection?

stats99
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by stats99 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:26 pm

BolderBoy wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:32 am
GS wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 11:22 am
I have friends who had Social Security phone them after they applied for benefits with questions about their application. I read a Clark Howard newsletter today warning of a Social Security phone scam which has spoofed Social Security's 800 number to show up on caller-id. How have fellow Boglehead bloggers who received phone calls from Social Security handled them?
My sister applied for MC & SS in person at an SS office in April 2017. Several weeks later a call came for her from someone claiming to be from SS. I laughed at him and hung up. He called back. I laughed at him again and said I know all about the scam and hung up. He called back and immediately said, "This isn't a scam, I'm really from SS, let me talk to [sister's name]."

So I handed her the phone and they had a good laugh about my paranoia. I'm going to hang onto that paranoia...
I'm confused..so this WAS a scam? Because they called back and said "I'm really from SS" that made it for certain he was from from SS?
Did you validate phone number or call back the SS office yourself????

dcdowden
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Re: Phone calls from Social Security

Post by dcdowden » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:52 pm

My wife applied on-line for spousal benefit about 3 months ago. She got an email saying that she should call a specific person at the Social Security office that was working on her application. After leaving a couple messages, she eventually got through to the person. The SS rep wanted to verify much of the info that was already provided in the on-line application. The rep also wanted to talk to me as well, to make sure that I was aware that my wife was applying for spousal benefits against my account. Finally, the rep wanted to make sure that my wife understood that the spousal benefits she would receive now would be less than what she would have received if she applied against her work record. Of course, that was our plan for my wife to receive spousal benefits at age 66 and delay claiming her own benefits until age 70.

As it happens, my wife just received a letter from SS today that repeats the message that she could receive higher benefits now using her own work record than she is receiving as spousal benefits.

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