An identity theft can turn your life upside down. You can lose your money or have it tied up for months while you attempt to get your credit back in order.
Scams have been around forever, but new technologies make it even easier for thieves to fool their victims.
According to the AARP, thieves are impersonating Social Security Administration workers in attempts to gather their personal information and take their money. They ask seniors for their Social Security numbers, birth dates, and bank account numbers.
Common Social Security Scams
Direct Mailings – These days anyone with a computer can make an “official looking” letter.
Extra Checks – For a fee, you can receive an extra Social Security check. Does this sound too good to be true?
New Card – This scam is done both over the phone and through the mail. Simply include all of your personal information and they will send you a “new card”.
Tips for Avoiding Social Security Scams
Don’t give out your information – The Social Security Administration already has your information on file. Be suspicious of anyone asking for detailed personal information.
The old rule still applies – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Properly secure and dispose of records and information – Identity thieves commonly dig through people’s trash to obtain personal information.
What do I do if I’ve been the victim of an identity scam?
Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-441-2555. To find your local office, go use the Social Security Office Locator.
Contact the credit reporting bureaus and place a fraud alert, or if needed a credit freeze, on your account.
Credit reporting bureaus:
• TransUnion – 1-800-916-8800
• Equifax – 1-800-997-2493
• Experian 1-888-397-3742
The Chattanooga Social Security Disability lawyers at the McMahan Law Firm offer free legal advice to those who have been denied benefits for SSDI and SSI. More than 50% of our clients are awarded benefits after a Social Security Disability benefits appeals hearing.
If you’ve been denied benefits and need help…