Social Security scams are far from new, but it seems that they have been extra resourceful lately. With victims losing almost $45 million dollars last year, the Social Security Administration has built and provided a list of tips and things to watch out for.

Be Wary: Callers will call and claim that there is an issue with your social security number or account.
These people are brazen enough to threaten people on the other line with fines and even arrest. They use fear to obtain what they want. The key? Just hang up. The less information they get from you, the better. They also know that you cannot be tricked and will move on. Be extra wary: a new twist is that that scammers will use official names and fake badges to try to prove their legitimacy. Remember: The Social Security Administration will NEVER call you about a problem regarding your Social Security number. Nor will it ask you to provide email, text or photo information.

Things to avoid: making payments to unknown people with gift cards, wire transfers or by mailing in cash. Legitimate people and businesses will not request these styles of payment. Never do it!

What to do: Again, hang up! After you have received a suspicious call it is important to contact the SSA. You can do so by reporting it directly to the Office of the Inspector General on their website found here. This report will help catch these scam artists and help prevent you any losses.

Source: Lorie Konish – Social Security scammers swindled $45 million from people last year. Here’s how to avoid becoming a victim