Scam calls from fake Social Security Administration (SSA) agents spiked in the first half of the 2019, according to a recent analysis.

From January 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019, BeenVerified, a New York-based background check company, analyzed call complaints received from all 50 states that were logged on a free reverse phone lookup tool it owns and operates. 

The company examined a total of 213,106 complaints logged during that time and found that spam and robocalls from fraudsters claiming to be from the SSA accounted for nearly 10% of user complaint comments during the first six months of this year – a more than 23-fold increase in Social Security scam complaints compared with the first half of 2018.

In contrast with the increase in scam calls from fake SSA agents, BeenVerified found a drop in the number of IRS/tax scam spam calls from first to second place.

BeenVerified said on its website that scare tactics remain a common ploy of scammers, who threaten to arrest victims, take their benefits, or suspend their accounts.

BeenVerified cautions all consumers that if a caller says he represents the Social Security Administration or the IRS and asks to “verify” personal information, just hang up.