DES MOINES, Iowa -- If you receive a call about fraudulent activity or threats to suspend your social security number, you should hang up.
Social security scams aren't anything new, but the latest trend uses fear tactics to try and get your personal information.
Kim Price is approaching the age where she needs social security, so she was alarmed when she got a call about fraudulent activity in her name. She said she was originally suspicious of the call, but wanted to ensure nothing was wrong.
"It was a moment of panic because I’m so close to taking social security that I worried that it was true," Price said. "So I called the number from a different phone."
She said the person answered the call saying, "hello, this is the Social Security Administration." She immediately hung up.
"I just don’t think social security makes calls like that, I think if there was fraudulent activity they would have sent me a letter," Price said.
The Office of the Iowa Attorney General said they started getting 10-15 calls a day about scam calls in July, specifically related to social security.
"Some of the calls from imposters claim to be from the Social Security Administration saying there’s a problem with your card, that you need a new number," Lynn Hicks, the office's communications director said.
Hicks said if you miss their phone call and they leave a message, do not call back. He said they have heard of callers on the line threatening that your SSN could be "suspended" if you don't give them personal information.
"That’s where people get trapped because they either confirm what their social security number is or personal information," he said. "And that’s what we tell people, don’t confirm anything, don’t give anyone any information, don’t even say yes to any question because that’s where you can get into trouble."
Price said she started receiving more calls after she called the scam number back. Hicks said if you call the number back, you're almost guaranteed to get more because it confirms to the caller that your phone number is active.
"Don’t answer, let it go to voicemail. Don’t call back if you suspect it to be a scam," he said.
Although you cannot do a lot to stop getting the calls in the first place, Hicks said calling your phone carrier or downloading anti-robocall apps can help. He also recommended contacting your representatives, and said this requires a national solution.
The Social Security Administration issued this warning on its website:
Please beware of individuals impersonating Social Security employees over the phone. Reports about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be from SSA continue to increase, and recent reports have indicated unknown callers are using increasingly threatening language in these calls. If you suspect you have received a scam call, you should hang up, and then report details of the call to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report