Protect Yourself Against These Social Security Scams

Protect Yourself Against These Social Security Scams

Social security scams are common, as they prove lucrative for scam artists. Not only can such individuals trick seniors into sending money for alleged services, but they can acquire personal information that can lead to identity theft . Here are a few scams that have fooled many.

Direct Mail Scams

Some seniors have reported receiving letters on letterhead allegedly from the social security office informing them they have an extra check awaiting them. The letter then asks seniors to provide personal information and a “filing fee.” The thieves often ask for the recipient’s bank account information and social security number. Note that while the Social Security Administration often sends legitimate mail, they will not ask you for information that they already have, such as your social security number. They also do not require fees. Any suspicious letters should be followed up on with the local social security office before taking any action.

Phone Scams

If someone is asking for your social security number or personal details on the phone, chances are it’s not safe. A good rule is to never provide personal information over the phone. If for some reason it appears necessary, seniors can always call the Social Security Administration and ask for details about the request.

Internet Scams

A common form of social security scam is when thieves send an email stating that seniors social security information needs to be updated. The person is told to click on a link, which takes him to a webpage that has been carefully constructed to resemble the authentic government website. There, the senior is directed to enter personal information such as his social security number and bank account information.

A good rule of thumb is to always verify any requests for personal information that do not originate from a phone call initiated by the senior. Since such information is almost always the goal of these scams, seniors should always be suspicious when anyone asks for it.

It’s better to be safe than sorry, and social security officials are likely to be understanding when seniors ask for verification of requests for such information.

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