This week, the Senate Special Committee on Aging held a public hearing that examined the Social Security Impersonation Scam that last year cost seniors $38 million. The Committee also released its 2020 Fraud Book outlining the top 10 scams reported through its Fraud Hotline.
The hearing explored how the Social Security scam operates, explained what is currently being done to address it, and what more can be done to stop it. The Committee also heard from Machel Andersen of Ogden, UT, who was scammed out of more than $150,000.
Also providing testimony was Andrew Saul, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration; Gail Ennis, SSA Inspector General; Justin Groshon, Manager of the SSA Office in Saco, ME; and Nora Dowd Eisenhower, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Commission on Aging, Philadelphia, PA.
The Social Security scam generally involves criminals impersonating Social Security staff and calling victims to fraudulently take money from them or obtain their personally identifiable information. In one iteration of this scam, victims are told that their Social Security number has been suspended and that there is a warrant for their arrest. The fraudsters claim they need additional information from victims to verify their identity and often demand immediate payment through cash, wire transfers or gift cards.
Also, don’t forget to share NRMLA’s free brochure, Recognize and Report Elder Financial Abuse, with your clients and their families.