Beware: Scammers Using Social Security COLAs To Get Your Information

Inflation has caused a rise in Social Security payments, and now fraudsters are flooding phone lines claiming to assist individuals in obtaining their benefits.

The objective of the crooks is to obtain your private information. They want your date of birth, SSN, and anything else they can use to steal your identity. Agents at the Social Security Administration advise heightened vigilance.

One prospective victim taped a phone call so you may know what to look out for. In the phone conversation, the con artist states, “My current hope is that you qualify.”

After proposing to help the individual collect Social Security funds, the con artist attempts to obtain her personal information. However, the intended victim does not qualify for Social Security and does not require Social Security disability benefits.

The Con-artist wanted her social security number, date of birth, weight, and height. She also asked where the intended victim lived. Even though all her inquiries were answered, she still had one more- where do you work?  

The phone conversation for these calls seems reasonable. “I need to collect your personal information, Mary; may I have your social?” the con artist asks.

Mary Cain-Reis stated that she records these calls to prevent others from becoming victims.

The personal questions continue, “In what city and state were you born?” the con artist inquires. And for obvious reasons, Cain-Reis provides fake answers to the caller. The con artist tells her, “Alright, ma’am, congrats, you are qualified to apply for SSDI payments.”

Cain-Reis stated that she could comprehend why a person might fall for the con. They appear sincere. Occasionally, they sound innocent, she noted.

The Office of the Inspector General for Social Security stated that there are businesses that can assist you with obtaining Social Security disability payments; however, you must conduct research before contacting them. If you receive an unexpected call, as Cain-Reis did, the caller is likely attempting to swindle you.

Your Social Security number, your data, your date of birth, your address, your name, and your mother’s maiden name are all the information that would be required to open a bank account.

Anthony Monaco, Special Agent in the Office of the Inspector General, stated that his agency receives between 7,000 and 10,000 complaints every month on various sorts of Social Security fraud. The spread of information about the Social Security “cost of living adjustment,” often known as COLA, has exacerbated fraud.

Monaco added that schemes are on the upswing, and they seem incredibly sophisticated, very convincing COLA scams in various permutations. Monaco stated that this information is obtained through their website or reports from their law enforcement partners.

Monaco advises people to be wary of calls, emails, and messages purporting to assist them in obtaining a cost-of-living adjustment. The COLA does not require assistance, and you need not take action to receive this benefit increase; it will automatically be applied in January 2024.

If you receive such a call, the best course of action is to hang up. You may notify Social Security investigators of the number. According to experts, you should create a MySocialSecurity account to view your statement and determine your cost-of-living rise.