Aging Committee Looks at Social Security Scams
By PVA National Staff
The Senate Aging Committee held a hearing on January 29 focusing on schemes aimed at defrauding Social Security beneficiaries. Witnesses included Commissioner of Social Security Andrew Saul who reported that the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) toll free phone system had recently been updated to include messaging alerting callers to be aware of scams targeting beneficiaries and what they can do to protect themselves.
He also noted that SSA had recently sent emails to their 47 million online account holders advising them of ways to guard themselves against fraudsters. SSA Inspector General (OIG) Gail Ennis reported that the agency is working with various telecommunications companies to block spoof SSA callers that try to engage with beneficiaries in an attempt to get them to reveal sensitive account information. The SSA OIG also recently posted a blog on this topic here.
Three key points emphasized by the Administration’s witnesses were:
- The government will never call out of the blue and ask for a Social Security number.
- The government will never ask for payment by gift card or wire transfer.
- Social Security numbers cannot be suspended.
The full hearing can be found at here.