The Idaho Attorney General’s Office is warning Idahoans about a phone scam trying to get confidential information or money by claiming to be calling from the Social Security Administration.

     In a press release issued Aug. 15, Wasden said the scammers—most often a computer-generated recording—say the person’s Social Security number has been linked to a crime and as a result has been blocked or suspended, but that it can be reinstated for a fee. Other robocallers have threatened to end Social Security benefits unless a fee is paid to reinstate it. The recipient is also asked to confirm his or her Social Security number.

     Robocallers are computer-generated voices using artificial intelligence to speak with the call recipient. These technologies are often highly advanced and able to engage with the call recipient to a degree. However, robocalls generally have a robotic-sounding voice, which can be an indication that the call is not legitimate and is being generated by a computer.

     The Attorney General’s Office reminds Idahoans that a person’s Social Security number cannot be suspended and that if the government is taking action against someone, it will be in the form of a letter, not a phone call.

     Wasden noted that the Social Security Administration will never call and ask for a person’s Social Security number or ask someone to pay a fee. The agency would also never threaten someone’s benefits, but rather send a letter suspending a specific benefit, such as Medicare.

     Robocall complaints can be filed with the Attorney General’s Office or with the Federal Communications Commission through its website.

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