Beware of Social Security Phishing Scams

Beware of Social Security Phishing Scams

Social Security Phishing ScamsWhen it comes to scams, a lot of scam artists tend to target the elderly. This has resulted in many forms of Social Security phishing scams. Phishing scams are a way to obtain personal information from people that can be used to steal their identities. This can be harmful in many ways. If someone is able to steal your Social Security number through a phishing scam, they could fraudulently apply for benefits under your name. Or, change the address to steal your payments. Fortunately, there are ways that you can avoid such scams.

How do Social Security Phishing Scams Work?

Generally, what will happen is that someone will call a senior citizen on Social Security benefits. They will identify themselves as someone from the Social Security Administration. Then they will warn the individual that their benefits are going to end unless they give up their personal information. Sometimes they will figure out if you’re in the middle of an application process. If this is the case, they will pretend to be representatives calling to help complete the process. Or, to request information as a way to double check what’s on your application.

Identifying Social Security Phishing Scams

The idea of someone calling you pretending to be from the Social Security Administration can be very scary — what if they’re actually a representative of the Social Security Administration and they do need information for your application? The following are a few ways that you can identify Social Security phishing scams:

  • The Social Security Administration will rarely request that you confirm any personal information that’s on file over the phone. If the information is needed and you’ve been contacted over the phone, then the representative will give you a telephone number. Also, they will give an extension to call.
  • The Social Security Administration will never call you to demand immediate payments. Even if you do owe the Social Security Administration money, they are required to provide you with a way to appeal the amount you owe. If someone is threatening to cut off your benefits if you don’t make a payment by credit card, then you can be certain that it’s a scam.
  • When requesting payments, scammers will often request very specific ways to pay, such as with prepaid debit cards.
  • Scammers will often try to threaten their victims in an effort to scare them into providing payments over the phone. This includes threatening deportation or arrest. The actual Social Security Administration will never do this.

How to Protect Personal Information

Knowing these things will make it much easier to identify potential scams. However, there are still a number of other things you can do to further protect your personal information from phishing scams as well. These include the following:

  • Never give your Social Security number over the phone to anyone who calls you.
  • Never use a prepaid debit card or wire money in order to make a payment over the phone.
  • If you are collecting Social Security benefits, then make sure that you check their status and your statements on a regular basis. Do this to make sure everything is in order.

If you think that the person that has called you is attempting to scam you, then make sure that you hang up right away. Then report the interaction to the FTC and the Social Security Fraud Hotline. Some of the information they’ll request from you include the alleged name of the caller, their phone number, the date and time of the call, and any other identifying information you might have, such as details about the content of the call itself.

Social Security phishing scams are a serious matter. Don’t let yourself be fooled, scared or pressured into giving up personal information, such as your Social Security number, over the phone. For more information on how to protect yourself from Social Security phishing scams or for advice on how to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), be sure to contact us at Social Security Disability Advocates USA by calling (602) 952-3200 to set up a free consultation today.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a representative-client relationship.

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