Seniors Beware: New Con Targets Social Security Checks

Government officials are warning about cons targeting Social Security beneficiaries.

Cons who are posing as agents for Social Security in this latest scam tries to trick seniors into “verifying” private information over the phone — including Social Security numbers, birth dates and parents’ names — supposedly to provide the senior with a cost-of-living increase in their benefits.

If the senior provides all the requested information, the scammer uses it to contact the real Social Security Administration to attempt to change the person’s direct deposit information and steal benefit checks.

Another Social Security scam starts with a recorded phone call warning seniors about a problem with their benefit checks. If the seniors call the number listed on the recording, they’ll be told that a warrant has been issued for the victim’s arrest and that the only way to solve the problem is by buying hundreds of dollars’ worth of prepaid debit cards “to resolve the warrant.”

These schemes target innocent people and try to trick them out of their money. Please be aware and cautious of any calls from the Social Security office.

If you think the Social Security Administration might have reason to contact you, hang up and call the agency back at their listed local number or their toll-free headquarters number at 800-772-1213.

Never provide private information — especially your Social Security number — to someone whose identify cannot be confirmed. The caller is often trying to get your information for identity theft, to use your name and Social Security number to apply for credit cards and loans.

If you receive a suspicious call from someone who claims to be with Social Security or the agency’s Office of Inspector General or the IRS, report the issue to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report to help preserve further abuse.

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