Something Important to Know About Social Security

Social Security

Something Important to Know About Social Security

Posted by COTO Insurance & Financial Services
3 years ago | October 15, 2018

It seems that every few years, a new scam targets retirees or those close to retirement. This population is understandably nervous about recent or looming changes in their lives, and worried about finances. On top of that, many people don’t know a lot about how certain government programs work. Specifically, Social Security and Medicare are frequently used by con artists, to trick people into giving out sensitive information.

Due to a scam that is circulating right now, we feel it’s important to warn our readers: Social Security will not cold-call you! If the Administration needs to communicate with you, they will send you a letter in the mail, containing instructions on what to do next. The only time they will ever call you on the phone is to return a message you recently left with them.

So, if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security, it is almost certainly a con artist. This person might tell you that fraud is suspected regarding your account, your benefits are at risk, or that your bank account might soon be frozen so that they can conduct an investigation. None of these things are true! The caller is simply trying to scare you, so that you will readily give them any information they request in order to “clear up the problem”.

The scammer will then ask you for sensitive information like your Social Security number, your mother’s maiden name, or your birth date, among other facts. This is the information needed to obtain false identification, credit cards, or loans in your name. Don’t ever give out this information to someone who calls you on the phone.

Here’s what you should do instead: Hang up on them immediately. Then call the Social Security fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271. Report the call you just received, and a real Social Security representative can reassure you that nothing is wrong with your file.

If you receive an email that appears to be from Social Security, follow the above instructions. Do not open the email, and definitely do not click on any links or attempt to reply. Social Security will not send you an email – only snail mail.

We hope you’re never targeted by a con artist, but at least now you know what to do. In the meantime, give us a call if you have questions about Social Security or retirement planning in general.

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