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What are some Social Security number scams?

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Quick Answer

Tax-related identity theft and telephone fraud are types of social security number scams, notes USA.gov. Scam artists may also fraudulently obtain social security numbers in order to misdirect social security payments, states the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.

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Full Answer

Some scam artists steal social security numbers to get tax refunds or jobs, warns USA.gov. The Internal Revenue Service does not send email or texts, or use social media to contact taxpayers. Any email that claims to be from the IRS is not legitimate, and recipients should not reply or click on the links in those emails. In telephone scams, people call and offer things such as free or low cost products, credit lines, loans or fake investment opportunities. The scam artists pressure their intended victims to give up personal information such as social security numbers in order to take advantage of those opportunities.

Scam artists also use phone calls, emails and other methods to fraudulently obtain social security numbers in order to open online accounts and redirect victims' social security funds, states the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. To obtain the social security numbers, scam artists may pose as government officials, or claim that a victim won a prize but must provide personal information in order to receive it. People who are notified that they have opened a "my Social Security" account when they did not open the account themselves should contact a Social Security Administration Office.

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