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Inspector General Warns of Social Security Scams
September 5, 2007 - Unfortunately, there always seem to be crooks who are trying to put something over on us and take our money. While anyone can be a target for such scam artists, seniors are often among the most vulnerable.
Social Security recently has had to issue a warning about several scams that have surfaced in Indiana. Our agency has received many reports about telephone calls from people who falsely claim to be Social Security employees. In each case, the person attempted to obtain personal information, such as a Social Security or bank account number, from the Social Security recipient.
The scam artists who identify themselves as Social Security employees have used a variety of approaches to get personal information. In several cases, the caller said that Social Security needed their bank account information to deposit Social Security funds. In another, the caller posed as an employee who needed to verify the person's direct deposit information.
Basically, we advise you to always take precautions when giving out personal information. You should never provide your Social Security number or other personal information over the telephone unless you initiated the contact, or are confident of the person to whom you are speaking. If in doubt, do not release information without first verifying the validity of the call.
If there is any doubt at all about someone who claims to be a Social Security representative, we recommend calling Social Security's toll-free number at 1-800-772- 1213 to verify the legitimacy of the call. (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call Social Security's TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.) In the meantime, our Office of Inspector General (OIG) is working closely with other Social Security officials to investigate all reports of suspicious activity. To report suspicious activity, please call the OIG Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the OIG TTY number at 1-866_501-21O1.) A Public Fraud Reporting form is also available online at the OIG's website: www.socialsecurity.gov/oig/.
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