When you receive a call or email from a scammer, there is one thing they’re are digging for: information. Information can range from a full name, email address, bank information, a credit card number and other personal descriptions. One of the most coveted pieces of information is a personal social security number, the number that links your identity to who you are on paper. With a social security number, an identity thief can access everything from your financial accounts to profiting off of your medical benefits. The terrifying issue with getting a social security number compromised is that these numbers are rarely ever changed, in comparison to credit card numbers.How are they able to get my social security number?There are multiple ways an identity thief can gain access to your social security number. Once the number has been stolen, the information can be posted on the dark web as a bidding tool. This can spread the details of your personal information like a virus, giving the opportunity of identity theft to the highest bidder.Unfortunately, gaining your social security information can be as simple as a phone call. Reports include callers claiming to be from the Social Security Administration often stating that there has been a problem. Scammers rely on the use of intimidation, the need for immediate action based on what could put you in jeopardy. They may also place the blame on a glitch, a computer malfunction or system crash that deleted information. Never resort to giving out your personal information over the phone until you have verified the person on the other end of the line. Even something as simple as a birthdate or mother’s maiden name could help them gain deeper access into the verification of your personal data.According to BBB’s 2017 Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, 23% of money lost was due to an interaction over the phone. The U.S. Government was rated number 2 of the Top 15 Organizations used for Impersonation.If you are unsure about a caller claiming to be an SSA employee, hang up and call their toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the issue. Report the description of the call to BBB’s Scam Tracker to help assist others who may fall victim to the same call.