Older Americans Targeted by Uptick In Social Security Scams

(Daily360.com) – There is a rash of Social Security scams taking place over the phone lines in America and people need to watch out for the signs. The number one thing these scammers are doing is soliciting information from people over the phone by posing as representatives for the Social Security Administration. They’ll trick people into giving them all sorts of personal information including their Social Security numbers and bank transfer information.

Recent statistics show that Social Security scams are up a whopping 62% over the last couple of years. These con artists prey on unsuspecting victims by claiming the authority of the agency and then telling them there’s a problem with their account. They’ll often tell the person that their account has been suspended for some reason and the only way to ‘reactivate’ it is by giving them personal information. Everyone should know that this is always a lie; Social Security accounts are never suspended.

Another tactic the scammers will use is telling people that their benefits have been suspended and in order to get them again they will have to give their Social Security over the phone for ‘verification’ and then pay a reinstatement fee. Everyone should note that this scam is easily spotted on two levels: the agency will never ask for a Social Security number over the phone and there is never any reinstatement fee of any kind.

Likewise, anytime someone calls claiming a citizen owes the Social Security Administration money, this is a lie and a scam. What typically follows that lie is a request for a wire transfer or similar method of payment. However, in reality the agency would never ask for any kind payment over the phone. Apply the same reasoning should you ever get a call from someone claiming they can increase your Social Security payments for a fee.

People should always remember the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not call you regarding issues with your account. Their first and most common method is always by letters in the mail. The SSA will not pressure recipients to respond with deadlines and payments. People should never give out personal information over the phone and if they believe a call might be legitimate they should hang up, check their account online and then initiate a call to the SSA if need be.

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