Scammers are calling Social Security recipients and demanding that the consumer put hundreds of dollars on a gift card in order to get a new Medicare card, which is free. In other calls, the scammer claims that you are going to lose Social Security benefits unless you provide them with personal information in order to keep your benefits. There have also been reports in Michigan of someone going door to door offering a better Medicare plan, and asking to see the senior’s old Medicare card, which shows the owners social security number.
Unfortunately, older Americans are often the target of scams like these. Have a conversation with your older family members and friends about the importance of keeping their personal information secure. If they are in doubt, encourage them to call you and check before they share any information.
Here are some clues to the Social Security scams:
- Sometimes, the number on your caller ID can show up as 800-772-1213. It’s a legitimate number but that doesn’t mean the call isn’t from a scammer.
- If someone asks for information in order to make sure that you get a bigger Social Security check each month, it’s a fraud.
- Social Security isn’t going to call and threaten that your benefits will be terminated.
- Some crooks claim that the Social Security computers are down and they need you to help to provide some information. A huge red flag — Social Security already has your Social Security number and won’t be calling to ask you to hand over that number to them.
- If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from the Social Security Administration, you should report that information to the Office of the Inspector General for Social Security at 800-269-0271 for the Social Security fraud hotline.
Never give out your personal information if you don’t know who is calling or stopping by!