The ease of life supported by social security is under attack by online scam artists. Vulnerable senior citizens are the target group for a number of financial scams, including social security fraud. Since May 2011, 36,000 seniors nationwide have fallen victim to social security scams.
WPTV reported an eye opening story about a senior Florida resident, Patricia Bell, who lost $1,200 in a new social security online scam. Bell received notice that she had created an online account on the Social Security website, which she immediately recognized as false. But in fact, someone had created a legitimate account in Bell’s name by using her personal information, Social Security number included. The fraud was then able to use the system to change Bell’s direct deposit information and reroute the payment to their personal account. According to the Social Security Administration, Bell is one of 2,400 seniors nationwide to have fallen victim to this online scam. The SSA has begun an internal audit of their online system to assess how much money has been lost through this type of scam and what preventative measures can be taken in the future.
In the meantime, what can you do to protect yourself? Here are some tips suggested by WPTV:
- Protect personal information
- Set up your online Social Security account before someone else does
- Preemptively block direct deposit changes
For More Information
To find out more information about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.
To read to the full article, visit http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_c_palm_beach_county/west_palm_beach/new-social-security-scam-uses-online-site-to-bilk-seniors-out-of-money.