SSA Fraud

The Colorado State Patrol Alumni Association just informed the Association of this scam:

The vast majority of our members are ineligible to received Social Security Benefits, but some do, or may be married to someone who does. It is with that in mind that this fraud warning is sent to you.

Reports from the Office of the Inspector General warn (OIG) that Social Security Administration (SSA) employees are being impersonated. The scheme is that an impersonator calls from a telephone number with a 323 area code and claims to be an SSA employee. He or she tells the victims they are due a 1.7% cost of living increase of their benefits. The impersonator goes on to ask the victim to verify all of their personal information including date of birth, SSN, parents’ names, etc. to receive the increase. The impersonators then use the personal information to edit the victims’ direct deposit, address, and telephone information with SSA.

If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA or the OIG, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy.  (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)

Luckily, we PERA retirees don’t represent as large a group as does the SSA retired, so we haven’t been targeted with a similar scheme, yet, but it’s a short trip and the results could be just as disastrous. The same advice regarding phone calls from someone reportedly from PERA and requesting similar information should be viewed with skepticism and verified independently through PERA before providing any sort of personal information. These guys can be extremely convincing.

Thanks Alumni for keeping us in the loop.