Recently, government officials warned about a series of cons targeting Social Security beneficiaries in which the scammers posed as agents from the Social Security Administration.
The con tricks seniors into giving their private information such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and parents’ names, claiming to provide the senior with an increase in their cost-of-living benefits. According to a statement in CBS News by Gale Stallworth Stone, Social Security's Acting Inspector General Administration, if the senior provides all the requested information, the scammer uses it to contact the real SSA in order to change the person's direct deposit information and steal benefit checks. Though data on the number of seniors taken in this scheme has not yet been determined, Stone noted in a consumer advisory that the agency was receiving numerous calls from all over the country complaining about the scam.
“This scheme targets unsuspecting persons and uses scare tactics to defraud them of their resources,” said Stone in a written warning. “If an unknown person pressures you on the phone into providing payments or making purchases for odd reasons, don't think twice about hanging up.”
It is important to be suspicious of any caller who appears to be from a government agency. If the Social Security Administration has a reason to call your clients, advise them to hang up and call the agency back at their listed local number on their toll-free headquarters number at 800-772-1213. If your client receives a suspicious call from someone professing to be with Social Security or the agency's Office of Inspector General, tell them to report the issue to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.