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The number of scams running around these days is absurd, and scary. Someone calls and says they need to talk to you about your car warranty, they have a question about your credit card but can’t tell you which one, you won the lottery in some obscure country. The sheer number of these scams and frequency of calls is frightening.
Targeting Social Security Recipients
Especially upsetting are scams specifically targeting individuals receiving Social Security benefits. Often known as government imposter scams, in which a person poses as a government official to get you to provide personal or financial information or send money.
There has been a recent increase in phone scams targeting people who depend on Social Security benefit income. There are a variety of different scams targeting Social Security recipients.
Examples of Social Security Scams
- Callers pose as a Social Security Employee - then ask for personal information including: your name, social security number and banking information, alleging they need the information to ensure you continue to receive benefits, so you will receive additional funds or "rebates."
- A caller will claim they are from Social Security and will require you to wire or send funds via cashiers check or risk losing your benefits.
- An email will arrive, directing you to a website that looks very similar to the Social Security Administration's website to "update your information."
- You might get a robo call giving you a number to call back to remedy some alleged problem with your benefit.
- Another caller (or robo call) claiming to be with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), may tell you that there is an issue with your Social Security account, and you need to call or give them your account information, so they can fix it.
Do Not Give Out Info Or Funds
Do not provide information to anyone calling you asking for your Social Security number or bank account information. Do not send funds either via electronic transfer or check. The Social Security office will not call you or email you requesting information or funds from you. If you receive a request for information contact your local office or call Social Security’s customer service number 1-800-772-1213.
Report Suspicious Activity
You can report any suspicious activity to the Social Security via the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the real OIG Hotline 1-800-269-0271.
Always remember that you should receive notice from Social Security by mail. If you receive a call or email requesting information or funds, do not provide that information and request the individuals name requesting the information.
Check With Your Local Office First
If Social Security needs something they will send you a letter. If you are targeted by one of these types of calls or emails, contact your local Social Security office or the main line for Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. Verify if they do need any information from you rather than give that info to potential scammers.
Call your local office or 1-800-772-1213 to verify the identity of the Social Security employee who has contacted you and if Social Security needs any information from you. Only give out your information if you initiate the call to a number you have verified belongs to the Social Security Administration!