Scammers are trying to get personal information from people by pretending to help with applications for disability benefits and claims. A recent alert from the Social Security Inspector General warns of this phishing scam, and — whether or not you’ve started an application for benefits — these scammers could contact you. They’re taking a shot in the dark, hoping that you have started an application, and hoping you’ll give them a little more info over the phone. To “complete the process,” they might ask you to give, or confirm, your Social Security number or bank account numbers.
If scammers get your information, you could face identity theft and benefit theft. So here are a few things you can do to help protect yourself:
- Never give your Social Security number or account numbers to someone who calls you.
- Don’t wire money or send money using a prepaid debit card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue.
- If you have disability benefits, regularly check their status, and review your statements to make sure they’re right.
- Pressured to provide your information? That’s a sure sign of a scam. Hang up immediately and report it to the Social Security Fraud Hotline and the FTC.
If you have questions about disability benefits, or get calls offering help with them, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. And read up on more ways to combat phishing and identity theft.