Social Security Administration: Beware Social Security and Medicare Fraud

The Social Security Administration (SSA) published a post on their blog last week warning seniors about Medicare and Social Security scams.

Millions of Americans rely on these social programs, so scammers and con-men consider them easy game. It takes a special kind of low-life to prey on elderly, disabled, or otherwise disadvantaged individuals, but they are out there.

Here’s what the SSA wants you to know:

  • Non-government business and people are not allowed to let their customers believe they are affiliated with SSA or Medicare.
  • Some unscrupulous companies offer Social Security services for a fee, when you can get the same services from SSA for free. These include correcting or replacing your card and receiving a statement. If you receive an ad from a company claiming to work with Social Security, report it to the Social Security Administration.
  • Phone scams continue to plague the nation. Such calls usually involve a scary-sounding person stating that your Social Security account and benefits are suspended because of a violation on your part. They will tell you there’s a warrant out for your arrest unless you pay hundreds of dollars in pre-paid gift cards. Of course, the government doesn’t ask for payment in gift cards, and they don’t call you when they want to arrest you.
  • As a general rule, Medicare, Social Security, the IRS, and other governmental agencies don’t call individuals. They send letters to request payment, advise you of changes to your account, or alert you to violations.
  • If you receive an unsolicited call from anyone claiming to be from Social Security or Medicare, hang up right away. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 to check the veracity of the phone call.
  • Don’t make payments over the phone, unless you initiated the call and you know whom you’re speaking to.
  • Don’t give personal information over the phone, unless the call is from a verifiable source.

For more information, visit SSA’s Office of the Inspector General’s page about scam awareness here:

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