In what has become an annual event, Social Security has instituted a Slam the Scam Day to bring awareness to the public of the insidious practice of scamming. This illegal activity involves individuals pretending to be from the SSA contacting beneficiaries and demanding personal information and/or payments.
This year the big day will be on March 10 and will tie in with the Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week which will run from March 6 to 12. There will be a series of public events and we’re all encouraged to raise awareness locally using all and any means of communication.
Scamming itself has become a seriously big business and has reportedly pocketed $331 million from unsuspecting Americans. The scammers are quick to establish new methods of coercing us into part ingwith our hard-earned cash; one of the most recent innovations has been the sending of letters purportedly from the SSA asking the recipient to call a number to ensure they receive the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). As Social Security have been quick to advise, that COLA increase is something that happens automatically.
The SSA, in promoting this year’s event, have also reiterated that nobody from their agency will ever threaten arrest or legal action; promise to increase your benefit if you pay a fee; or require a payment with gift cards, cash, pre-paid debit cards, wire-transfers or internet currency.
If you suspect that you have been scammed you can report the case to the SSA Office of the Inspector General at their website here: Home | Office of the Inspector General (ssa.gov)
For more information on the National Consumer Protection Week you can go here: National Consumer Protection Week | FTC Consumer Information