JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a recent scam alert from the Federal Trade Commission, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis is warning Florida's seniors to beware of a new robocall scam threatening their Social Security benefits.
"So many seniors call Florida home, but unfortunately scam artists are working overtime to target the nest egg they worked all of their lives to build," Patronis said in a new release Monday. "Imposter scams are the top category for fraud in Florida, accounting for more than 18,000 reports through the second quarter this year with reported losses of over $32 million.
If you receive a suspicious call, Patronis said, hang up and report it immediately at FraudFreeFlorida.com.
In the release, Patronis' office included a link to a video with audio of what it described as an actual robocall scam.
"You're Social Security number would immediate effect. Due to this, all your social benefits will be canceled until further clearance. In case you feel this is due to an error, you may connect with legal," a voice can be heard saying in the audio. "In order to connect with a Social Security Administration officer, press 1 now."
3 tips to avoid Social Security scams
As Patronis warns of the robocalls, his office is offering three tips to avoid Social Security scams:
1. The Social Security Administration will never call to threaten your benefits. Always verify the information you're getting is legitimate by calling the SSA directly at 1-800-772-1213 to find out if the agency is really trying to contact you and why.
2. Do not trust caller ID. Scam calls may show up on caller ID as the Social Security Administration and look like the agency's real number. Hang up and call the SSA directly if you are unsure of the caller.
3. Never give the caller your Social Security number or other personal information. The SSA will never ask you for your personal or financial information over the phone. If you've already provided this information, visit IdentityTheft.gov/SSA to find out what steps you can take to protect your credit and your identity.