Social Security Fraud Risks Rise Due to AI
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been around for quite some time. Though recently the term AI has been buzzing through everyone’s vocabulary, in some form or another, as it’s been the hyped-up trend.
In some circumstances AI can be beneficial for businesses. In our recent article Artificial Intelligence Being Used For Disability Evaluations, we explain how the Social Security Administration, SSA, has developed an automated AI system to check draft decisions for roughly 30 quality issues, addressing long-standing questions about the accuracy, consistency, and speed of case processing. Applying such AI measures has been advantageous for the SSA’s turnaround times.
The more we learn about AI, the more we discover that AI-driven fraud is increasing and reaching more of the population. Schemers are using artificial intelligence to find personal data used to access benefit information. Unfortunately, the criminal activity is happening all too often. And these offenders are targeting seniors, including Social Security recipients.
“The criminals post pandemic are focused on government payments,” said Haywood Talcove, CEO of the government business of LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “You don’t have years, months or weeks to study this, because it is here right now.”
Since these scammers are fixated on government payments, crooks easily found the perfect targets. According to a Social Security fraud awareness study by Atticus law firm, 75% of Social Security recipients are not aware of AI-powered cons that target them. Nearly 1 in 5 beneficiaries surveyed admitted they don’t feel confident in their ability to recognize AI-driven Social Security scams.
Thus, the Social Security Administration, SSA, acknowledges the threat of AI, and the Office of the Inspector General, OIG, recently launched a taskforce to investigate. “The OIG understands that criminals will use AI to make fraudulent schemes easier and faster to execute, the deceptions more credible and realistic, and the fraud more profitable,” wrote Inspector General Gail Ennis. And so, the taskforce efforts intend to spot irregularities and deter AI-related Social Security scams. Ennis goes on to say, “the OIG is in the early stages of understanding how criminals will leverage AI to commit fraud against SSA, but it’s imperative” to recognize the technology’s potential risks.”
Crooks are following government agencies as closely as beneficiaries because there is no shortage of money. They check the webpages and read the blogs to find as many vulnerabilities as possible. “Staying informed and cautious is key to protecting retirement benefits from AI-driven fraud schemes,” says Kathy Stokes, director of fraud prevention at AARP’s Fraud Watch Network.
Tips To Be More Prepared And Alert To Potential Scams
Use Common Sense
If you receive an email, text or even video that you don’t recognize and that appears suspicious, do not open the email. Technology helps such schemes appear very authentic and legitimate but trust your gut to not trust anything.
Do Not Divulge Personal Information. Period.
Scams most often ask for specific personal information hoping you will give it out freely. With a small fact these criminals receive from you they may unlock the key to your other personal data, or they will come back asking for more, little by little. Safeguard your personal information by being aware there could be a scam in front of your nose and do not respond.
Understand How The Social Security Administration Works
Be wary if you receive a text, call, or email claiming to be the SSA. You should know that the SSA will not initiate contact with you. Hence, if a perpetrator says they are with the Social Security Administration know immediately this is bogus. Scammers can easily manipulate your caller ID to have the call appear to come from anyone, anywhere – even as drastic as saying the call is coming from the SSA.
Get Help From Someone You Trust
Always refrain from responding to a suspicious source instantaneously. Instead review the message thoroughly and when in doubt, reach out to a reliable family member or other person you trust for help deciphering if the message is real or a hoax. Report any fraud attempts right away to the authority they apparently came from. Call that source up directly.
For example, if someone reaches out and claim to be from your local Social Security office, first end the conversation, then find the number for the office that is near you. Call the Social Security office yourself to report what happened.
Know What New Scams Are Transpiring
As technology advances, it’s no surprise new scams are going to develop. Gone are the days where the worst thieves stole paychecks from mailboxes, cashed them and pocketed the funds. AI fraud has become the modern version. Stay up to date on what common scams are out there and follow headlines so you can recognize a potential threat.
Contact Lowery Law Group at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.