National Slam the Scam Day
This Thursday we are celebrating National Slam the Scam Day — are you ready to slam the scam? National “Slam the Scam” Day was initiated by the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of the Inspector General to raise awareness of government imposter scams, which continue to spread across the United States.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received over 1.1 million identity theft reports in 2022, and the total losses of government imposter scams in 2022 were nearly $509 million. One of the tactics scammers use to exploit people is to impersonate government agencies — since June 2022, Trend Micro has detected 1,103,034 government scam text messages.
Government Imposter Scams
Scammers will pretend to be an agent from government agencies and contact you via phone calls, text messages, or emails. They make up various lies, trying to lure you into sending them money, or revealing your credit card credentials and Social Security Number (SSN). The scammers do so by using the attached phishing links in the email or text message. If you click on the link, they can collect whatever information you then input on the page.
Why You Need to Protect Your Social Security Number
With your SSN, scammers can commit cybercrime using your name. Here are some of the things they could potentially do with your SSN:
- Take out new credit cards under your name.
- Steal your tax refund.
- Take out money from your banking or investment accounts.
- Open new utility or telecom accounts under your name.
- Get medical treatment under your name.
Below are some common excuses scammers use, along with some examples of fake government texts we’ve detected this week. Have you seen any of them?
#1 Fake Job Opportunities
- This Usa Government-related job was just posted: <URL> Reply STOP to opt out
- Clyde, It’s Jill your text recruiter, I found a new Usa Government position for you. View details here – <URL>
- Nestor, a new job is available for: Meter Reader near 98199 <URL> Reply STOP to cancel alerts
#2 Government Benefit/Relief Scams
Many people were financially affected during COVID-19, and remain in need of government relief packages. Scammers target these people and send them fake messages about non-existing assistance:
- Find out which Government Grants are available in your area. Most don’t have to be paid back! <URL> Reply Stop to OPTOUT
- AHRA (NEW) GOVERNMENT RELIEF for Salena! Claim your approved benefits here before they expire: <URL> Txt Stop to Opt Out
- I (NEW) Government Relief for Stephen! Check your eligibility here: <URL> Txt Stop To Opt Out Reply Stop 2 Quit
3 Red Flags of Government Imposter Scams
- The scammer poses as a government agency, but doesn’t provide valid contact information.
- They urge you to take action immediately.
- They prompt you to click on unknown links.
Use ID Security to Monitor Your ID 24/7
We suggest you use Trend Micro™ ID Security to monitor the internet and the dark web for your personal data 24/7! The app can check if your SSN has been leaked, in addition to lots of other data like your email address, credit card numbers, driver’s license number, and more.
To read more about ID Security, click the button below:
Where to Report Government Imposter Scams
- You can report government imposter scams to the Federal Trade Commission.
- As for Social Security-related scams and fraud, you can report it to the Social Security Administration.
Join us Thursday to celebrate National Slam the Scam Day — let’s slam the scam together! And be sure to check out this article on the steps to take if you think someone is using your Social Security Number. If you’ve found this article a good read, please do SHARE it with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected. And don’t forget to leave a like and comment below.
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