Beware of scammers.
There are plenty of dishonest people in the world.
They take advantage of others for their own sordid gain (I have been looking for an opportunity to use "sordid" in a blog post).
Anyone could be a target, but the elderly are especially vulnerable.
According to a recent The Sentinel Source article titled “How to protect yourself from the Social Security imposter scam,” some very sordid popular scams involve Social Security.
On average victims lost $1,500.
Scams can come in many forms.
One such scam involves a phone call.
The caller will say your Social Security number has been suspended and action must be taken.
It could be a robot or a person on the other end.
Typically, it will instruct the victim to speak with a representative.
Another variation involves Social Security reaching out via phone about increasing benefits for the victim.
These are scams.
On preys on fear and the other on greed.
Do not provide personal or account information.
If you do, then expect to find your bank accounts depleted or your identity stolen.
How can you protect yourself?
Do not trust callers.
Caller ID can be faked.
Do not answer phone calls from Social Security.
Instead, you should call the bona fide Social Security number at 800-722-1213.
If the caller says your Social Security number has been suspended and requires payment to fix it, this is a scam.
The Social Security Administration will never do this.
Do not ever give out personal information such as bank account and Social Security numbers to anyone.
What if you have done so?
Call Social Security at the above number to find out what you can do to help protect your identity and your credit.
Knowing information about you does not make a call legitimate.
Much can be found out about you elsewhere.
It is very very difficult these days to hide from the internet.
Also, no legitimate government agency will ever require payment in gift cards.
This is a red flag.
What happens if it is too late?
You have fallen victim to a scam.
Do not be embarrassed.
Reach out to family and friends.
Let others know so your loved ones and friends do not become victims as well.
Remember, people are not always trustworthy.
Reference: The Sentinel Source (June 16, 2019) “How to protect yourself from the Social Security imposter scam”