National Slam the Scam Day Observed for Third Year
by M.C. Millman
National Slam the Scam Day, launched in 2020 to combat Social-Secuirty related scams, takes place on March 9 and is an initiative created to raise public awareness to help combat scams.
Slam the Scam Day is part of the Federal Trade Commission's National Consumer Protection Week, which takes place from March 5-11, 2023.
Last year, the initiative expanded to include other government scams as reported losses from consumers reached over $446 million in 2021 and $509 million in 2022.
Given that scammers need uninformed victims to succeed through their subtle tactics exercised via phone calls, emails, texts, or threats, creating an informed public will cut back on scamming successes. The challenge lies in that scammers frequently change their tactics, giving them an advantage as they work the newest scam.
Scammers often pretend to be from a familiar organization or agency. They might even use legitimate names of officials and employees, email attachments with official-looking logos, seals, and signatures, and even include pictures of employee credentials.
Additionally, scammers often "spoof" official government phone numbers or even numbers for local police departments.
Scammers might mention a problem or offer an incentive. They might say your Social Security number was involved in a crime or ask for personal information to process a benefit increase. Scammers pressure immediate action and threaten arrest or legal action. Payment is often demanded in the form of a gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire or money transfer, cash in the mail, or by transferring money to a "safe" or "protected" account.
If you've received a suspicious call or email - hang up or ignore the message. Most importantly, do not click on links or attachments.
Scams should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov/report.
To stay up to date on the latest scam tactics, visit www.ssa.gov/scam and follow SSA OIG on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.