Many of us spend the holidays relaxing and sharing in goodwill with friends and family. But some bad actors use the holidays to take advantage of people’s generous spirits. Scammers frequently target the older and other more vulnerable members of our communities. They pretend they are from Social Security or another government agency to steal money or personal information.
Caller ID, texts or documents sent by email may look official, but they are not. Fraudsters are calling to verify information about the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment for people who get benefits. Remember, this adjustment is automatic and a beneficiary does not need to verify anything. “Social Security won’t ask you to provide information or money to get your benefit increase,” the Social Security Administration said. “Know that how we do business with you doesn’t change because it’s the holidays. We may email or text you about programs and services, but we will never ask for personal information via email or text.”
Recognizing the signs of a scam can help you avoid falling victim to one. These scams primarily use the telephone to contact you, but scammers may also use email, text messages, social media, or U.S. mail. Scammers pretend to be from an agency or organization you know to gain your trust. Scammers say there is a problem with your Social Security number or account. Scammers pressure you to act immediately. Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.
Know what to look for and be alert. Scammers don’t take days off and neither should you… when it comes to making sure you identify suspicious communications and report it. If you receive a questionable call, text or email, hang up or don’t respond and report it at oig.ssa.gov/report. Scammers frequently change their methods with new tactics and messages to trick people. Stay up to date on the latest news and advisories by following SSA’s Office of the Inspector General on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook or subscribing to receive email alerts.