A new scam tied to your social security benefits is hitting the radar as the Social Security Administration preps for a big change. Seniors are finding their information stolen and used as the SSA works to cut out paper checks and go straight to direct deposit.
You go to great lengths to protect your Social Security number and this recent scam is the reason why. According to reports, identity thieves are cashing in and stealing social security numbers from seniors and using them to re-route the benefits to their own bank accounts or pre-paid cards.
CNN is reporting the Inspector Heneral's office has received more than 19,000 reports of questionable changes or attempted changes to a beneficiary's direct deposit information, although not all are tied to fraud. The IG’s office, according to CNN, says the social security administration needs to do more to verify your identity if changes are being made to your account, like alerting you through an automated email, letter or text.
But how do you prevent this kind of fraud in the first place? First, be wary of anyone asking for your personal information over the phone or by email. Government agencies don't do that. And if you want to go further, it is possible to inform the SSA no changes can be made to your account unless you appear in person with ID. Click here to find out how.
If you notice a delay in your payment from the SSA or think your account may have been used for fraud, you should contact the Office of the Inspector General.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
More Scam Alerts
Still searching for Ravens tickets? Scammers are happy to help
You're searching for Ravens gear in preparation for the Super Bowl, but where you buy it could make a big difference.
The Better Business Bureau is partnering with Western Union to keep potential scams on your radar.
After a warning about scammers using Newtown victims' names, a woman is arrested and a local family weighs in.
Waiting on a holiday package? Don't be fooled by scammers who know you're playing the waiting game.
Did you get a holiday loan offer in your email? Experts say it could be a phishing scheme that puts you at risk.
They’re three initials that would scare just about anybody. So if someone called your house claiming to be from the DEA you’d snap to attention.