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Watch out for these Social Security scams

Social Security Administration issues urgent warning

by Kurt Knutsson

One of these social security scams just struck a good friend of mine. They got his Wells Fargo account, a credit card and were on their way to getting into another account to steal his retirement money.

Quick action put a stop to it, but not before accounts were compromised. My friend who is smart and not easy to fool was almost added to the list of people being convinced by government imposters.

The FTC reports that between January and September 2021, $442 million was swindled from Americans by government imposter scams.

Social Security ‘Cost-of-living Adjustment’ Scam

The Social Security Administration is issuing a warning about scam letters arriving in mailboxes. While the SSA letterhead looks official, the scam advises the recipient to call a toll-free number to activate an increase of benefits from a cost of living adjustment. That’s when the scammer attempts to have you reveal account information or other personal details.

Fact: Cost of living adjustments (COLA) are automatic and never require you to activate or call a phone number.

Social Security scams are increasing beyond phony letter writing. Scammers are using other methods to reach you including social media.

When a person identifying themselves as a Social Security Administration representative calls, leaves a voicemail, email or text message, it’s 99.9% certain to be a scammer.

These are the latest tricks being used to scam you

Here’s what we know according to the Inspector General.  Scams often threaten arrest or legal action against you unless you immediately provide information or send money.  Don’t fall for it.

How to avoid getting scammed

  • The most important advice is to never give out any information – none.
  • Hang up the phone without saying a word.
  • Delete any suspicious texts or emails
  • Never respond to scammers. Sometimes a simple response like a well-deserved 4 letter curse word only tells them to continue to pursue you.

Upping SSA Benefits scam

Another scam tactic starts off with an enticing promise to increase your social security benefits or fix a problem if you pay a fee or move your money into a protected account.

Fake documentation trick

Scammers targeting you will often try to gain your trust by providing fake social security documentation and false evidence. Scammers may even use the name of a real government official.

How Social Security Scams evolve

These are just a few of the current tricks being deployed to steal money from you. Be on the lookout for changes in their approach and new tactics to scam you.

What to do if you are scammed

If you think you have been targeted with a social security scam, the SSA encourages you to report any social security-related scams to them at their official site.

For added protection, you are always safer when deploying strong antivirus security across all of your devices.  See the Best AntiVirus Protection for 2022 reviews here including our top pick TotalAV.

 

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