The Missouri Senior Medicare Patrol wants to share this information from the Social Security Administration (SSA): If you receive an unexpected offer from the SSA, do NOT click on a link or respond. It’s a scam.
Instead, report suspected scams to oig.ssa.gov. The SSA recently issued a fraud alert about such offers. Criminals will impersonate SSA and other government agencies to try to obtain personal information, money, or download malware onto phones.
Criminals try to trick people into sharing personal and financial information over the phone – or they use deceptive texts and emails that lure recipients to a fake Social Security website. Do not share your personal information.
Criminals falsely advise recipients to apply to receive Social Security benefits or extra money, such as a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), or to set up an online account. The message may also provide fake contact information for SSA. Social Security recipients need not do anything to receive the cost-of-living increase.
To protect yourself, think before you act. Hang up or ignore the message. Talk to someone you trust. Do not transfer money or pay with gift cards, prepaid debit cards, Internet currency or cryptocurrency, wire transfer, money transfer, or by mailing cash. Scammers use these forms of payment because they are hard to trace.
Do not believe scammers who “transfer” your call to a government official or law enforcement officer. Do not trust your caller ID. Be cautious of any contact claiming to be from a government agency or law enforcement, telling you about a problem you don’t recognize or an unsolicited offer. Do not provide your personal information, even if the caller has some of your information.
As always, if you think you or a loved one is a victim of Medicare fraud or abuse, call the SMP at 1-888-515-6565.
This project was supported, in part, by grant number 90MPPG0040, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.