Signs that Someone is a Social Security Scammer
We’ve all heard of scams, but it can be difficult sometimes to identify scammers, especially if they seem to have proof that they are legitimate.
Recently, Social Security scammers have been contacting individuals offering COVID-19 assistance or economic impact payments. They ask for information or say they need to charge a fee. It is important not to give these people any information or money.
Here are some identifiers to help you figure out if someone is actually from Social Security or not.
- Social Security will never threaten you.
If someone is threatening you with imprisonment, withholding benefits, or some other punishment, they are a scammer.
- Social Security will never suspend your SSN.
If someone is threatening to suspend your Social Security number, they are a scammer.
- Social Security will never demand immediate payment.
If someone demands you make a payment immediately, they are a scammer.
- Social Security will never require payments made by cash, gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, or wire transfers.
If someone requires you to use one of the above payment methods for an outstanding balance, they are a scammer.
- Social Security will never ask for payment information over the phone, such as numbers for gift cards or wiring money, nor will they ask you to mail cash.
If someone demands you give them payment information over the phone or send cash, they are a scammer.
- Social Security will never ask you to return a call to an unknown number.
If they tell you to call another number, they are a scammer.
- Social Security will only send you emails and texts about their programs and services if you sign up to receive these.
If someone is contacting you about Social Security benefits out of the blue and you did not sign up to receive notifications, they are a scammer.
- Social Security will never offer benefits in exchange for payment.
If the person contacting you says that you need to pay a fee to start receiving a new Social Security benefit, they are a scammer.
Beware of these other signs:
- It’s important to keep in mind that these scammers may make their messages and emails look official. There may be signs that the message is not legitimate, such as if it is from a strange email address you haven’t seen before.
- If the person contacting you tells you that there is a vague “problem” with your social security number or account, that should be a warning sign. Social Security will most likely explain a specific issue to you.
- In most cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to risk giving away personal information that someone could use to get your Social Security benefits, and you don’t want to be tricked into giving away your money.
- If you accidentally give away information or money to a Social Security scammer, contact the social security office right away.
If you think you are being scammed:
- Do not give out any personal information or money.
- Hang up or do not reply to an email or text message. Do not click on any links they send.
- Check the reported Social Security scams.
- Report the scam to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Examples of Scams:
- Some of the recent scams during the COVID-19 pandemic have included scammers sending messages that they will suspend or discontinue Social Security payments because of office closures.
- Other scammers offer increased benefits during times of financial hardship.
- Others offer COVID-19 tests to those receiving Medicare in exchange for personal information. There are also some scams involving COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines are free, and if anyone is asking for payment or information ahead of time, you should be wary.
- Some scammers will send fake letters and reports to convince you that they are from the Social Security office.
- Scammers will do all they can to pressure you into giving them information or money. Always keep in mind that those working for Social Security will not.
If you think someone is trying to scam you, report them here.
If you’re not sure, we can help you determine whether someone is a scammer. If the claim or offer of new benefits is legitimate, we can help you with the next steps!
Contact Lowery Law Group at email@example.com or call (843) 991-0733. There is no fee for a free consultation regarding your claim. Lowery Law Group is experienced in handling cases in South Carolina as well as Georgia.