LARSON WARNS OF SCAM TARGETING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFICIARIES
Washington, D.C. – Today, Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Ranking Member John B. Larson (CT-01) warned of a new fraud scheme targeting Social Security beneficiaries. The Social Security Administration’s Inspector General last week issued a notification that there have been reports of individuals impersonating Social Security Administration officials or Office of the Inspector General employees, who are making phone calls to beneficiaries to gather their personal information in order to divert their benefits to a different bank account. The callers have been known to use a supposed increase to the beneficiaries’ Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) as a cover to gather their information.
“This new scheme to defraud Social Security beneficiaries of their earned benefits is outrageous and must be stopped. We ask all beneficiaries to remain vigilant with their personal information. If you are receiving Social Security benefits and are called to give your bank account number, Social Security number, or any other personal information, and are unsure of the caller’s credentials; hang up and call your local Social Security office to verify this request,” said Larson. “I urge beneficiaries to be cautious when speaking about your personal information, especially if the request is unsolicited and over the phone. If you feel you have been contacted for fraudulent reasons, please feel free to report the incident to the information listed below.”
For more information, the Social Security’s toll-free customer service number is 1-800-772-1213, and the hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you or a loved one receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from the Social Security Administration, citizens may report that information to the Office of Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report. Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.
Rep. Larson is committed to protecting Americans from fraud. He and Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson recently introduced the Social Security Must Avert Identity Loss (MAIL) Act (H.R. 1513) to require the Social Security Administration to remove beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers from mailed notices, as one way to limit beneficiaries’ exposure to fraud and abuse.