LAFAYETTE, LA. (KLFY)– Experts say scammers are taking advantage of annual Social Security Administration practices.
Each year, the SSA approves a cost of living adjustment for recipients of social security benefits and supplementary security income. Payments may increase up to 8.7% this year. Scammers are taking advantage of this.
Chris Babin, of the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, says recipients of Social Security benefits are expecting a nearly 9% increase this year. This increase does not require recipients to apply or adjust any of their information, however, scammers are telling them otherwise.
“Scammers are calling them saying that in order to receive the increase, they have to apply with them for the increase right there on the phone. They’re pretending to be a social security agent pretending to be a social security representative telling them that I need your information,” says Babin.
Scammers may contact you by phone, text, or email. This phony social security administration representative claims you must apply for your cost of living increase. They might ask you to visit a website, send information via text or email, or speak with them on the phone to get the benefit. Some will even request your bank information, claiming they can put the money directly into your account.
Here are some tips on how to avoid social security scams:
- Remember, the social security administration’s cost of living adjustment is automatic. You don’t need to do anything to receive the increase in benefits.
- Know how the social security administration communicates. They will mail you a letter is there is a problem with your social security number.
- Don’t give in to threats. The SSA will never threaten you with arrest or legal action. They will never suspend your social security number or demand payment from you.
- When in doubt, hang up. If you suspect you might be getting scammed, stop all communications.
If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.