Stories of Social Security disability fraud often make the news. However, what doesn’t make the news as often are stories about Social Security disability recipients who are the victims of scammers.
There are a variety of ways in which different scammers try to take advantage of Social Security disability recipients. For example:
- Someone posing as a Social Security Administration official may try to tell you that you are entitled to more money than you are receiving and that they can fix it for you if you provide your Social Security number and other personal information.
- Someone pretending to be from the Social Security Administration may try to tell you that there is a problem with your claim and that you will lose benefits unless you provide your Social Security number and other personal information.
- Someone posing as a loan officer may offer you an advance on your Social Security disability payments in a way that seems too good to be true.
These kinds of scams can come via email, in the regular mail, or by phone.
Three Tips for Avoiding a Scam
Many scams sound very convincing. That’s why they work. Unfortunately, you always have to be on guard to prevent becoming a victim. You can help protect yourself by:
- Knowing how the Social Security Administration will contact you. While the Social Security Administration may contact you via email or by phone, the Social Security Administration will never ask for personal information via email or phone.
- Never providing information to someone you don’t know. Instead, go to the Social Security Administration’s website or call the number that is directly linked to the Social Security Administration so that you can make sure that the information is going to the agency.
- Check with your attorney before providing any information to anyone. Your Social Security disability lawyer can make sure that your information is protected.
Additionally, it is important to report any suspicious inquiries immediately. You can make a report to the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General. This may help other people from becoming victims of the same scam.
Remember, providing personal information, such as your Social Security number, to unreliable sources may lead to financial ruin and stress. The scammer may not only be trying to get your monthly benefits; he may also be trying to steal your identity. Accordingly, we encourage you to take this seriously and to do everything you can to protect your privacy.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.