AARP Virginia Fraud Alert: Social Security Scams

Posted on 04/22/24

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One of the most popular ways for criminals to steal money and sensitive information is by impersonating a trusted source — often a government agency. According to the Federal Trade Commission, victims of government impostor scams reported theft of nearly $617 million in 2023.

A frequently impersonated agency is the Social Security Administration. Here’s what you need to know to spot and stop a Social Security impostor scam.

Criminals rely on getting their target into a heightened emotional state, such as fear, panic or excitement. They know high emotions can block access to logical thinking. Social Security impostors tend to use fear (your number has been suspended, call immediately) or excitement (you are eligible for a higher monthly benefit).

If you get a call claiming to be from Social Security and you are not already engaged with them on a specific matter, hang up. Concerned? Look up the number to your local office at ssa.gov/locator and find out if the agency has been trying to reach you.

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.

With about 1 million members in Virginia, AARP is the largest organization working on behalf of people age 50-plus and their families in the Commonwealth. To learn more about how AARP Virginia is working in your community, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aarpvirginia and follow @AARPVa on X at www.X.com/aarpva.

AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to the more than 100 million Americans 50-plus and their families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/about-aarp/www.aarp.org/español or follow @AARP@AARPenEspañol and @AARPadvocates on social media.

This story is provided by AARP Virginia. Visit the AARP Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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