While most look forward to the holidays to be able to spend time with family and friends, there are some that are out to take advantage of people's generous spirits. These scammers find vulnerable victims in the elderly members of our city.
An 88-year-old Irving resident contacted us this past week urging us to publish a warning about these scams. Unfortunately, he was scammed out of almost $20,000.
As part of the scam a caller pretends to be from Social Security or another government agency to get personal information and use that to steal your money. With technology, the scammer can make the caller ID, texts, or documents emailed look official.
The Social Security Administration warned about some "fraudsters calling to verify information about the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment for people who get benefits". The SSA reminds everyone that this adjustment is automatic and a beneficiary does not need to verify anything. Also, "Social Security won’t ask you to provide information or money to get your benefit increase.", says a release by the SSA.
Recognizing the signs of a scam quickly can help you avoid falling victim to one.
There are a few red flags to look for:
- Scammers pretend to be from an agency or organization you know to gain your trust.
- Scammers say there is a problem with your Social Security number or account.
- Scammers pressure you to act immediately.
- Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.
If you receive a questionable call, text, or email, hang up or don’t respond and report it directly at oig.ssa.gov/report.