Wednesday, December 1, 2021

'Tis the Season

Not only for holiday cheer, good will and shopping, but definitely for Scammers too. This Scam Alert came from the Social Security Administration in my email this week. I felt it was worth sharing to prevent anyone being bamboozled by these completely worthless individuals (and that's exactly how I really feel, my friends). 

(For those unfamiliar with the SSA, it's an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability and survivor benefits.)

Since these (or similar) scams could inadvertently affect unsuspecting folks, information in this post was re-created as closely as possible with text formatting from the original email. (This advice can be applied to calls from other institutions like credit cards or banks. When dubious, never share any personal information, instead check with the institution yourself. )


The Social Security Administration will never threaten, scare, or pressure you to take an immediate action.

 If you receive a call, text, or email that...

  • Threatens to suspend your Social Security number, even if they have part or all of your Social Security number
  • Warns of arrest of legal action
  • Demands or requests immediate payment
  • Requires payment by gift card, prepaid debit card, internet currency, or by mailing cash
  • Pressures you for personal information
  • Requests secrecy
  • Threatens to seize your bank account
  • Promises to increase your Social Security benefit
  • Tries to gain your trust by providing fake "documentation," false "evidence," or the name of a real government official

. . . it is a SCAM!

Do not give scammers money or personal information – Ignore Them!
Protect yourself and others from Social Security-related scams
  • Try to stay calm. Do not provide anyone with money or personal information when you feel pressured, threatened, or scared.
  • Hang up or ignore it. If you receive a suspicious call, text, or email, hang up or do not respond. Government employees will not threaten you, demand immediate payment, or try to gain your trust by sending you pictures or documents.
  • Report Social Security-related scams. If you receive a suspicious call, text, or email that mentions Social Security, ignore it and report it to the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
  • Do not be embarrassed if you shared personal information or suffered a financial loss.
  • Get up-to-date information. Follow SSA OIG on Twitter @TheSSAOIG and Facebook @SSA Office of the Inspector General for the latest information on Social Security-related scams. Visit the Federal Trade Commission for information on other government scams.
  • Spread the word. Share your knowledge of Social Security-related scams. Post on social media using the hashtag #SlamtheScam to share your experience and warn others. Visit for more information. 
  • Please also share with your friends and family — Report a Scam.
It's also worth mentioning that spammers abound not only this time of year, but all the time. Recently, I've received comments from one using the name, Ratana. These comments are always vague with wording like interesting post . . . There's always a link to another website some for online gambling. This spammer has left similar comments on other blogs. My advice and, what I'm doing, is never acknowledge the comment, never click on a links, delete  it immediately — if anyone has experience on how to permanently block, please share. 

Of course, I don't expect that this spammer or others will actually be reading this post, but to paraphrase from a famous movie: we have a failure to communicate and the deletions will continue as long as necessary. 

Here's how to mark comments as SPAM in Blogger (something I've neglected to remember). Select Design on the top right of your blog, then Comments (on the right side). Place your cursor to the right of any comment and these options display: Remove content of this comment, Mark this comment as spam, Delete this comment. 


gigi-hawaii said...

Thank you for alerting us to this sort of thing. Always important to be vigilant.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

We simply hang up, but it must work sufficiently often for these low lives to keep doing it.

Bijoux said...

I also received that email yesterday. I initially thought it was spam. LOL! But yes, I’ve also received the phone calls from them, threatening jail time if I don’t respond. It’s always one of those robotic voices and quite frightening l

DUTA said...

The alarming thing is that you can trust no one, especially not those working in the vital offices.
Recently, I've submitted a request for tax refund. I got my confirmation for tax refund, but after a week or two I received an SMS from an unknown firm offering tax refund calculation for a small fee.
I decided to ignore, not to report, until I know more about that.

Linda G. said...

It is always prudent to watch out for spammers!

MadSnapper said...

my emails, both of them are blown up completely with scams, maybe 20 to 30 a day.. have not seen this one yet but sure i will.... thanks for the heads up

Jon said...

Thanks for the alert and for sharing some very good advice. Unfortunately, scams are rampant and deceptively sophisticated. Be extremely aware and never let your guard down.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

Wonderful advice. And yes, regarding the spammers on our blogs, that is why I use comment moderation so I can delete the spammers before they actually appear on the blog. Some people just have nothing better to do, and I guess they sadly do find ways to hurt people through these scams, so be aware!! Thank you! Happy Holidays!

Jeanie said...

A very good post. I know they've tried me (unsuccessfully) and Rick's mom (very successfully). It's all excellent advice.

mimmylynn said...

I have been taking my phone off the hook every day. The calls about Medicare insurance were driving me crazy. One more week and my landline will belong to me!

DeniseinVA said...

Thanks for the alert and much appreciated. Scams seem to be coming in more around the holiday season.

Marcia said...

Got that Social Security alert yesterday too. Interesting read. We don't pick up the phone if we don't recognize the number. lately it's bee Portfolio Recovery calling. I keep blocking the phone number and they switch to another number. Since we returned from Buffalo we haven't had a call from them. As to scammer comments I think labeling them as spam helps Blogger identify them in the future. That also removes it from the comments seen.

Red said...

Ratana has been showing up on my blog. I ignore it. You describe it to a T. You provide some very good information.

William Kendall said...

I've been swiftly shuffling that Ratana nitwit to the spam folder if he's made it past the filters.

My name is Erika. said...

People who scam others, especially older people, are really terrible people. And there's so many of them out there. It's good of you to post this because everyone can use a reminder about this. Happy new month! Hugs-Erika

Margaret D said...

Always scammers about - common sense is a good thing to have and I guess we have a similar scam going on down here too.

Rita said...

It really s the season for Medicare scammers!

Anvilcloud said...

Rantana is everywhere all of a sudden.

Edna B said...

Good information. I got a few emails from that spammer, and deleted them. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

Polly said...

You're right Beatrice, these people are utterly worthless. We had our landline removed a couple of years ago, I don't get any on my mobile.

Lee said...

I became a victim of scammers late October...and am still suffering anxiety from their dastardly deed...and still fighting to get my stolen funds back. Fingers crossed.

The are worthless pieces of.....(I'll let others fill in the blanks, but I'm sure agree with my unmentioned description)!

Be careful alert...take care.

nick said...

It looks like scammers are a lot more active in the States than they are over here. I get the occasional dodgy email or dodgy phone call and that's it. Unfortunately some people are very trusting and will give all their banking details to a complete stranger just because they "seem honest". And some scammers have managed to clone a bank's phone number so you think you're talking to your bank and you aren't.

The Liberty Belle said...

Good information! Thank you for sharing. I truly dislike scammers and spammers.