Social Security scams

Posted: March 1st, 2016 | Author: Elizabeth H. Klampert Blog
Categories: Scams, Social Security

New scams seem to pop up on a daily basis and can cause a lot of damage.  Two recent scams that people should know about involve the Social Security Administration (SSA).  One involves a text message sent to disability applicants and beneficiaries while the other involves e-mail messages sent with “Get Protected” in the subject line.

With regard to the text message, SSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) sent out an advisory in November 2015 entitled “Text phishing scheme targeting disability applicants and beneficiaries.”  In the advisory, the OIG warns that anyone receiving a text message requesting them to call a telephone number about their Social Security benefits should not respond to it.  The text reads:  “Disability Alert: Please call 253-xxx-xxxx regarding your recent disability benefits application.”

 The OIG advises that the SSA never sends any unsolicited text messages to anyone about their application for benefits and reminds everyone to keep their Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, or other personal information confidential unless you are absolutely confident about the identity of the person asking for such information.  Anyone who receives such a message should contact SSA directly to verify the identity of the person claiming to be a SSA employee.  The toll-free number is 800-772-1213.  Recipients can also contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline at http://oig.ssa.gov or by calling 800-269-0271.

Now to the fraudulent e-mail being sent with the “Get Protected” subject line.  This e-mail purports to be from the SSA offering to protect the recipient’s personal information and prevent people from stealing the recipient’s identity.  It includes a link to get that supposed protection.  However, do not click on that link, as that will not only allow the scammer access to your valuable information but it will also allow him/her to defraud you.  If you do click on the link by mistake, make sure that your computer’s antivirus program gets rid of it.


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