05 Mar Social Security Scams
Dr. Sherry McCoy PhD
is a freelance writer & actor for the Stop Senior Scams Acting Program (SSSAP) in Los Angeles. Follow SSSAP on Facebook . For more info re: SSSAP, contact Adrienne Omansky at SSSAP4U@gmail.com. Questions for the writer should be directed to “Dear Sherry” at Not Born Yesterday! P.O. Box 722, Brea, CA 92822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Social Security Scams”
Dr. Sherry McCoy, PhD – Stop Senior Scams ℠ Acting Program
Here we are in March of 2020! Daylight Savings Time begins on the 8th of this month, and the Spring Equinox is on the 19th. So now is the time to spring forward in our awareness about scams that target seniors. Regardless of the time of year, scammers are always out in full force, working hard to separate us from our hard-earned cash and savings. Life in the 21st Century demands that we be vigilant and educate ourselves about fraud in all its various manifestations – which, sadly, run the gamut from A-Z. Let’s take a look at Social Security scams, and learn what we can do to steer clear of these fraudulent schemes.
According to Jim Borland¹, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications, Social Security Administration, we need to be aware of a new phone scam that’s being directed toward seniors right now. Here’s the gist of this phishing scam, designed to steal your personal identity information and use it to your disadvantage.
You might receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration or some other government agency. Because scammers have the ability to change the caller ID number to whatever they wish, the caller ID could display the correct national customer service number for Social Security (1-800-772-1213). Callers may indicate any of the following so-called reasons for the phone call:
- Social Security doesn’t have all your personal information on file, including perhaps, your Social Security Number (SSN).
- Social Security needs more information from you so they can increase your benefits.
- Social Security will terminate your benefits if you don’t confirm your personal information.
- Your SSN is at risk of being deactivated or deleted if you don’t provide Social Security with your personal information.
Please note – All of this is bogus! The calls are not really from Social Security at all. The phone calls are from con artists who want to steal your money and other valuables. Do not return their calls via phone numbers they ask you to use. Do not engage with these fraudsters in any way. Just hang up! Please also note – Social Security employees may occasionally contact you via phone for customer-service purposes only, e.g., if you have some pending business with Social Security. Real, authentic Social Security employees, however, will never threaten you or promise you increased benefits if you don’t provide them with personal information.
If you receive a Social Security Scam call, please report it to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271, or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
If you have questions about Medicare fraud / abuse, or believe you have been the victim of Medicare fraud contact the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP*) at 1-855-613-7080. If you feel you have been the target or victim of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1. And then — Pass It On! In addition, please utilize the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470 to report scams. Contact the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office online at http://da.lacounty.gov// or phone (213) 974-3512.
Remember: You may be a target, but you don’t have to be a victim!
*Dr. Sherry McCoy, PhD, is a freelance writer & actor for the Stop Senior Scams ℠ Acting Program (SSSAP) in Los Angeles. Save the Dates – SSSAP performs (free): 10:30-11:30 a.m., March 23, 2020, Alta Pace-Grand Plaza, 701 W. Caesar E. Chavez Ave # 201, Los Angeles 90012; and, 12:30-1:30 p.m., April 2, 2020, Senior Center in Central Park Huntington Beach, 18041 Golden West St. Huntington Beach 92648. For more information, please contact Adrienne Omansky at SSSAP4U@gmail.com. Follow SSSAP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSSAP2016/?fref=ts. Questions for the writer should be directed to “Dear Sherry” at Not Born Yesterday! P.O. Box 722, Brea, CA 92822 or email@example.com.