When I answered my phone – from the 480 area code in Arizona far away from Pittsburgh – a recording said, “Your Social Security number has been compromised. Stay on the line and an agent will be right with you.”

When the agent, speaking in broken English, asked for my name and address, I got even madder.


First, having done cybersecurity assessment and communications work the past few years, I knew that the Social Security Administration will never call me or anyone – unless you’re having an ongoing discussion with a legitimate government employee.

Second, another telltale sign that it was a scam was that the scammers had no idea what my name or address was.

Third, I knew that elderly Americans are more likely to fall for such an obvious phone scam.

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