Scammers are now going to the Social Security Administration website and setting up “my Social Security” accounts for workers that are of retirement age in an attempt to steal their retirement benefits. People age 62 and older face the highest risk from this scam!
HOW IT WORKS:
- Scammers get ahold of personal information, like Social Security numbers, and head to www.ssa.gov to open a “my Social Security” account in their victim’s name.
- They apply for benefits – requesting a lump sum payout for any amount due to the victim and directing the automatic deposit to their own bank account.
- The scammer then withdraws the stolen funds and closes out the bank account, then transfers the funds to gift cards (so they can’t be tracked).
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- Only one “my Socials Security” account is permitted for each Social Security number, so signing up early is key.
- While it’s important to set up your account before a scammer can, it’s also a useful resource. Through it, you can view your estimated benefits (retirement, disability, and family benefits), review your earnings record and order replacement documents.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
- Set up your own “my Social Security” account today at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
- If you are a victim of this scam, you will probably have to visit your local Social Security Administration office to resolve it. You can find contact information at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.
If you have been the victim of this scam, please also alert the SD Division of Consumer Protections by calling 1-800-300-1986 or visiting consumer.sd.gov. They can investigate these scams and warn other South Dakotans to stay vigilant.
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You can join the Fraud Watch Network and receive alerts about scams happening in South Dakota. Any one of any age can join for free by visiting aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or to receive Fraud Watch Network alerts by phone, call 1-866-542-8172.