If you're among the millions of Americans receiving Social Security benefits, you must be aware of the potential for scams targeting your personal information. Dive into fraudsters' tactics and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Understanding the Threat
In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recorded over 27,000 incidents of social security fraud, culminating in a massive loss exceeding $75 million for the victims. Being informed about the common scams can significantly decrease the chances of falling prey to these fraudsters.
Protecting Yourself from Common Scams
Here are some of the most frequently encountered scams and practical tips for safeguarding yourself:
Fraudulent Phone Calls
Fraudsters impersonating Social Security Administration (SSA) representatives often use phone calls to deceive individuals. These scammers may inform you that your social security number is linked to criminal activities, sometimes using scare tactics or threaten legal actions. Remember the following:
Email phishing scams employ official-looking documents that resemble genuine SSA communications, aiming to lure you into revealing personal information. Here's how to identify and avoid them:
Scammers might attempt to extract money, presenting various plausible scenarios, such as offering additional social security benefits or asserting the need to cover government fees. Keep these points in mind:
While the threat of scams is ever-present, knowledge remains your best defense. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a communication purportedly from the SSA, please contact them directly to verify its authenticity.