How To Avoid Social Security Scams
April 24, 2023
By Bridgelight Financial Advisors
April is National Social Security Month! You should be aware of how often scams happen and how you can avoid them. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), American consumers lost $375 million to scammers impersonating the government in 2021 (1). These criminals impersonate the Social Security Administration or other government agencies trying to steal your personal information or money.
Do not become a victim, read on to learn how you can avoid these common scams.
KNOW THE FOUR SIGNS
These scammers will pretend to be from an agency in hopes of gaining your trust.
They will insist there is a problem or a prize. There sometimes are empty threats made such as your social security number will be suspended, or your bank account will be seized.
They will make it seem like an urgent matter and pressure you to act swiftly.
You will be requested to pay in some type of way. There may be an ask for you to pay with gift cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency or by mailing cash. In addition, there can be an offer for you to move your money to a “protected” bank account.
PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
If you are contacted remain calm and first speak with someone you trust before acting. Be cautious of anyone claiming to be from a government agency trying to inform you of an issue you had no knowledge of. Hang up or ignore the messages you are receiving. Do not disclose personal information before verifying that it is a valid claim.
ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE RED FLAGS
It is better to be safe than sorry. Know that the SSA will contact you if you have a transaction in progress. If you do not have ongoing business with them, it is probably a scam. You can always call them and confirm what was sent to you. You can call the National 800 number at 1-800-722-1213.
If you receive a suspicious call, text message, email letter or message on social media you can report the scam to the Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov/report.
If you are in need of a financial advisor that specializes in helping you make your retirement a successful one, our team at Bridgelight Financial Advisors would love to help you experience confidence in every aspect of your financial plan. Call (203) 795-7080, email Advice@BridgelightAdvisors.com, or schedule an appointment online to meet and get started.
Bill Leavitt is the president of Bridgelight Financial Advisors, an independent, privately owned fiduciary financial advisory and financial planning firm. He specializes in working with pre-retirees, retirees, professionals, and women investors, helping them navigate a complicated and ever-changing investment landscape. With over 25 years of experience, Bill serves his clients using his own unique financial planning model, The Wealth Focus™ Process, where he helps clients develop their customized long-term wealth strategy in four comprehensive steps. A Connecticut native, Bill resides in southern Connecticut with his wife, Laura, and their three daughters. To learn more about Bill, connect with him on LinkedIn.
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