The Social Security Administration or “SSA” is continuing to warn Americans regarding scams where people are receiving phone calls or other correspondence impersonating Social Security. These scams aim to gain individuals trust and steal your money.
Most recently, the SSA has become aware of COVID-19 scams where the individual attempts to persuade a person their Social Security payments will be discontinued due to COVID-19 office closures. Additionally, the SSA has reports of scammers attempting to notify individuals that their social security benefits are increasing due to COVID-19. These fraudulent attempts have been made through phone calls, mail correspondence, emails and text messages. The SSA assures individuals they will never offer any benefit increase in exchange for payment. These are scammers attempting to steal your money.
So how can you protect yourself? Scammers have become sophisticated, but there are still some things to keep in mind that are red flags. Start with making sure your Social Security card is somewhere safe. Do not carry it with you unless you absolutely need it. Do not give out your social security number unless you know it is a safe source and necessary to do so. Do not answer any suspicious emails or links and do not type your social security number freely in any email correspondence. Scammers may create text messages or emails that appear legitimate. Be aware, some scammers may even have a caller ID that reflects the accurate number of the Social Security Administration. Do not give any personal information to anyone without verifying their identity.
Know that there are some things a government agency will never request from you. The Social Security Administration will never tell you to wire money, send gift cards, or threaten you. Be vigilant in knowing who you are communicating with. If you have received any suspicious calls, be sure to visit https://www.ssa.gov/scam/ and report the activity.