Social Security Scams: What You Need to Know While Applying

in General

When applying for social security benefits, you may become vulnerable to online or phone scams trying to steal your personal information or benefits. Ladas & Hoopes wants to keep you informed and help protect against any threats to your information.

While applying for SSD, you should never give any personal information to anyone over the phone or through email. Scammers have the power to make their phone number or email appear to be from the Social Security Association (SSA), but know the SSA will never ask a recipient to wire money or confirm personal information over the phone or through any other type of message. Ever. Be aware of these potential scams in order to protect yourself.

Applying for SSD Over the Phone
Often, scammers will call claiming to help you complete your SSD application, or say your social security claim is being investigated or otherwise under threat. The scammer will then ask for you to “verify” bank accounts or other information before stealing your benefits. Ladas & Hoopes nor anyone from the SSA will try to obtain or confirm sensitive information over the phone. Never give out your personal information to callers.

If you have access to a My Social Security Account, you can keep track of your benefits and information with ease. Unfortunately, some scammers attempt to create accounts under a recipient’s name and change their direct deposit information. If you are applying for social security benefits, the SAA recommends creating and securing an account so scammers cannot create one for you.

You may also receive false emails asking you to confirm or update your information in order to continue receiving benefits. These scams then take the user to an official-looking website to steal bank account information. Any email from the SSA asking for information should be taken with scrutiny. Ladas & Hoopes recommends keeping track of the status of your benefits and calling the SSA about any suspicious emails.

Text Messages
Recently, some scammers send potential victims a text telling them to call a number regarding their pending social security hearing or claim. The scammer will then ask the caller to “confirm” information, but this is so they can steal it. The SSA does not send unsolicited text messages, and any text that asks for confirmation or other identifying factors is a scam.

While the SSA may call you to remind you about your application or hearing date, they will never ask to collect personal information. If you receive a suspicious call, email, or message, do not respond or give the caller information. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to spread awareness about scams.

Ladas & Hoopes can help guide you through the process of obtaining social security benefits, so you don’t fall victim to these scams. If you have any more questions involving scams or wish to further protect your information, contact Ladas and Hoopes or call 231-744-6218 to talk to a social security lawyer.