Social Security & Medicare Scams
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Social Security Scams
     FTC Detects a New Social Security Scam
     Protect Your Social Security Number

         
Keep Your Social Security Number Safe
     New Medicare Cards ó Avoiding Medicare Scams

Medicare Scams
    
Medicare Card Changes ó Opportunities for Scams
          New Medicare Cards ó Avoiding Medicare Scammers


Social Security Scams

FTC Detects New Social Security Scam

The AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) Fraud Watch Network passes along the latest Social Security scam uncovered by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission, protecting American consumers).

You look in your email inbox and see the subject line "Get Protected." Well, we all want that! Upon opening the email, you learn that the Social Security Administration (SSA) is supposedly offering great new features to help taxpayers protect their personal information and identities. Sounds so good that you may be tempted to click on the link provided ó but before you do, read this!

Itís a SCAM! The Federal Trade Commission recently caught on to this scam and is asking for help in tracking down the fraudsters.

How It Works:

  • Scammers pretending to be from the SSA send out the email offering new features to help consumers monitor their credit and learn whether someone is engaging in unauthorized use of their Social Security number.
     
  • It sounds very official and may even mention the "SAFE Act of 2015."

What You Should Know:

  • The Social Security Administration is not offering such a program. Itís actually a "phishing" email designed to get you to click on the link. Doing so could cause "malware" to be installed on your computer, like viruses and spyware.
     
  • The link might also take you to a "spoof" site designed to look like the SSAís website and ask you to provide personal information, like your Social Security number and bank or credit account numbers.

What You Should Do:

  • If you get a questionable email, DO NOT click on any links. Instead, report it to the Federal Trade Commission by forwarding it to spam@uce.gov
     
  • Unsure about whether itís for real? Here are a couple clues: "hover" your cursor over the address link in the email. If itís fake, youíll see that the address is an unrelated .com address, not the .gov address it appears to be.
     
    And, did it end up in your junk folder? If so, thatís because your email filters recognized that it wasnít for real.

     
  • If youíre unsure if an email is coming from the government, call them yourself, but use an email address that you find for yourself, not the contact information listed in the email.

Please share this alert with your friends and family and urge them to do the same!  Together we can stop scammers in their tracks and keep your hard earned dollars in your pocket where they belong!  

Sincerely,

Kristin Keckeisen
Fraud Watch Network


P.S. Spotted a scam?  Tell us about it.  Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state.  Youíll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.


Keep Your Social Security Number Safe

Social Security came into being 81 years ago this month, and the Social Security number followed a year later. From dumpster diving to data breaches, thieves have come up with many ways to try to steal our numbers since then.

 

What You Should Know:
  • Leave your card at home ó preferably in a locked safe, when you donít need it with you.
     
  • Shred documents that contain your Social Security number. Buy a crosscut shredder if you donít have one yet; they start at about $30 online or in office supply stores.
     
  • Donít give out your Social Security number over the phone, especially if you didnít initiate the call. Also beware of anyone asking for your Social Security number by email. It may be an imposter posing as your bank or the government. 
     
  • Know to whom you are providing your number and how they will use it. Sometimes you will need to provide your Social Security number to a financial institution or insurance company. But if you are not sure, ask why you need to provide it, how it will be stored, if it will be shared with others, and what the protocols are for a data breach.
What You Should Do:
  • Check your Social Security record to make sure itís accurate.
     
  • Set up a "my Social Security account" at www.ssa.gov to review your earnings record and get an estimate of your benefits.
     
  • If you see inconsistencies, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

Be sure to share this alert with family and friends!

Kristin Keckeisen
Fraud Watch Network


Medicare Scams

Medicare Card Changes ó Opportunities for Scammers

Special Alert: Medicare Card Changes Means Opportunities for Scams

Congress passed a law in 2015 that requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to remove Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards, which they will start doing in April 2018. New beneficiaries will get the modernized cards first, and then new cards will be issued to existing beneficiaries. This is an important change to help prevent fraud and protect peopleís identity, but with any new change, scammers are taking advantage of potential confusion.

What You Should Know:
  • Medicare beneficiaries are getting calls claiming to be from Medicare asking for payment to receive their new Medicare card, or asking them to verify their Medicare number.
     
  • Medicare will NEVER call to verify your number because they already have it.
     
  • There is no cost to get your new card.
What You Should Do:

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon! Please share this alert with friends and family! You have the power to protect yourselves and your loved ones from scams.

Kristin Keckeisen
Fraud Watch Network


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