There are many discounts and perks to take advantage of when one is considered a senior citizen. It can be much more affordable to go on a holiday and release stress, but being a senior also means that you are more likely to be a target of scams.
Often, seniors might receive phone calls or text messages from fraudsters that ask seniors for payment information in relation to their benefits. They might make false statements or claims to scare seniors into falling for their scams. To report scams, fill in this online form from the Office of the Inspector General or call the Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
Social Security Senior Scam Prevention
Note that Social Security only makes personal calls during very specific circumstances, and they are unlikely to call you unless you have requested a call or are undergoing an application or review.
However, the number of scammers claiming to be from Social Security is on the rise, making seniors extremely vulnerable. If a person on the phone is performing one of these suspicious actions, hang up the phone and file a report right away:
- Making threats
- Claiming to suspend your Social Security number
- Asking for payment and payment information of any kind
- Promising a benefit increase in exchange for payment
To avoid fraud, beware of any other scams such as emails, links, and more that ask for personal information. Avoid carrying your Social Security card in public or sharing your number unless with a reputable government agency, and be aware of any promises that sound too good to be true.
If you are unsure whether you can trust the representative you’re speaking to, it is best to err on the side of caution. To double-check their identity, you can also call Social Security's customer service line at 800-772-1213.
If you want to start taking advantage of senior benefits, take a look at Senior Strong’s article on applying for senior Medicare benefits today!
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.