Social Security scams are on the rise.
The NYPD recently reported that they have received more than 200 complaints so far this year, with a combined loss total of well over $2 million. Other precincts around the United States have reported similar occurrences, which makes it highly important for individuals and their families to be on the lookout for suspicious information requests.
In today’s entry, we’ll explain what you need to be watching out for, as well as a few tips that can help you avoid being scammed. To learn more about how you can protect your assets or the assets of a loved one, please call The Law Offices of Janis A Carney. We offer wealth management, estate planning, long-term care planning, and so much more.
Social Security scams are becoming more and more sophisticated. While many of these scams are attempts to gain access to social security information, others will use similar tactics to manipulate an individual into transferring large sums of money.
Oftentimes, victims are contacted by someone claiming to work for the “Social Security Administration,” who then informs them that their personal information is being used to commit illicit activities, or that their information was lost due to a computer error.
In other, more recent cases, individuals posing as law enforcement officials have contacted older Americans and threatened to freeze and/or seize their assets unless they hand over their personal information.
Tips for Avoiding Social Security Scams
The Officer of the Inspector General (OIG) recommends the following tips to protect yourself from scam artists and extortionists:
- Educate: As we discussed above, Social Security fraud attempts are becoming more and more sophisticated. If you receive a call from someone claiming to work on behalf of the government or a law enforcement agency, you can always check with the OIG’s Fraud Hotline to ensure that the information request you’re receiving is legitimate.
- Use Caution: As a rule of thumb, you should know that government agencies and other organizations will almost never request sensitive information or wire transfers over the phone or via email. If you feel that you are being pressured, hang up and call the Fraud Hotline.
- Keep Your Information Safe: Do not let your Social Security card fall into the wrong hands. Keep it stored in a safe, secure location instead of carrying it around with you. Shred any documents that contain your Social Security number, credit card number, bank information, and anything else that could be used to commit fraud.
In addition to the OIG’s Fraud Hotline, you can also call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration if you have been scammed by someone claiming to work on behalf of the IRS. The Federal Trade Commission is another great resource that can help you protect your identity and recover from identity theft.
The Law Offices of Janis A Carney is here to help you protect your assets and your long-term interests. We can help you with wealth protection, estate planning, long-term care planning, and provide you with additional resources to help you protect your identity.
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