With tax season here the Social Security scammers are back out in force. Like mall Santas around Christmas, but not nearly as jolly. This scam has been coming through phone calls recently. You'll get a call from an automated system saying that your Social Security account has a problem and to press 1 to connect to an officer. The calls can come from numbers in your area code using spoofed phone numbers. Please don't call the number back and yell at them. You're likely yelling at some person that has no idea what you're talking about and ruining their day too.
The Social Security office can call you about issues with your account but they will not threaten you for information. If in doubt, call their fraud number at 1-800-269-0271 or their main line at 1 -800-772-1213.
This scam is usually two parts. In the first part they'll tell you that there are problems with your Social Security account and demand information from you. Name, address, birth date, social security number, and anything else they can get. Everything they need to perform identity theft and make your life difficult for the next several years.
Once they get this information the scammers will say they can fix the issue (the one that doesn't exist) but you'll need to pay. This is the second part of the scam. They'll collect payment from you in a few different ways depending on how sophisticated the scammers are. The low-tech scammers will ask for pictures of gift cards so they can get the numbers off them. We promise you, no government agency takes gift cards as payment. Better established scammer groups will take credit cards, checks, or wire transfers.
They'll often say not to talk to anyone and they're only doing this as a favor to you. They're doing this to isolate you and keep you scared. A scared person doesn't ask questions that a calm person would think of. It's best to hang up and call the Social Security office back at their known-good phone number - 1 -800-772-1213. They also have contact methods listed at https://www.ssa.gov/agency/contact/phone.html.
Stay safe, and don't let the scammers get you.