Scams never go away. 2020 added Covid Scams but the theft of Social Security information is always with us. In 2019 there were more than 450,000 complaints about fraudulent attempts to obtain personal information and steal Social Security benefits.
Representing Social Security Disability clients for many years, we are all too familiar with the scams our clients have dealt with. Here are some tips to avoid being a victim:
You may get a phone call from a fake Social Security agent attempting to gain access to your social security number and retirement or disability benefits information. Using robocalls or live callers, the caller may claim to be a government employee. These callers might tell you that there was an attempt to steal your identity, Social Security number, account, or benefits. They may threaten you with arrest or other legal action or offer to increase benefits, protect assets, or resolve identity theft. They sometimes demand payment via retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency such as Bitcoin, or pre-paid debit card to “resolve the problem”.
Telephone scammers may follow-up and send faked documents by email or mail to convince you that they are genuine and to try to intimidate you to comply with their demands.
The imposter may send you an email that instructs you to click a link to register for a free service that protects you from Social Security fraud. The letters may use official letterhead or legitimate-looking seals to convince victims that they are legitimate.