In a year when a record number of people were unemployed, one industry was thriving — identity theft and fraud. The volume of Social Security scams has skyrocketed recently. Scammers are using threats and scare tactics to swindle seniors out of millions of dollars.
According to a report by CNBC, there were more than 718,000 reports of Social Security-related telephone scams last year – resulting in nearly $45 million in losses. And things don’t seem to be slowing down. The Social Security Administration reported over 300,000 Social Security-scam related complaints between October and the beginning of March.
Social Security scammers tend to use threats to scare innocent victims into providing their Social Security number and/or bank account information. These thieves have been known to trick people by alleging to be Social Security Administration or federal government officials, sometimes showing fake ID’s and badges.
Do NOT fall victim to these schemes. The Social Security Inspector General says the agency will NEVER call you about a problem with your Social Security number and it will NEVER email or text photos of so-called “official” identification. The agency will also NOT ask for payment by gift card, wire transfers, or cash by mail. If you receive a suspicious call you are asked to report it on report the SSA Office of the Inspector General’s website.
You can help protect America’s Social Security program by joining The Seniors Trust in urging lawmakers to pass the Social Security Expansion Act. A public opinion poll shows unanimous support (100%) for this landmark piece of legislation. When passed, it will increase benefits, provide a fair cost-of-living adjustment, and protect the long-term solvency of Social Security.