A famous author once wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Although Charles Dickens wrote The Tale of Two Cities over 150 years ago, it seems an appropriate description of what is happening in our country now. Fear of COVID-19 could be the worst of times. Uplifting images and stories of people helping people are the best of times. Unfortunately, we also have to deal with people who don’t have our best interests in mind – scammers. COVID-19 scams have arisen related to your Social Security benefits. It’s essential to know about these dishonest schemes so you can protect yourself from them.
Someone who sounds very official may call you, claiming to be from Medicare. They may ask for your Social Security number, your Medicare number, banking information, and other personal information. If you get this call, hang up immediately.
Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently wrote about this scam. She stated that Medicare representatives would never:
- Call to ask for your Medicare number;
- Try to sell you something;
- Make promises to you to get you to give them your Medicare number;
- Visit your home;
- Threaten you with adverse action if you don’t give them your personal information; or
- Enroll you in Medicare “unless you called us first.”
Other scams have arisen also.
Social Security Benefit Scams
People who receive Social Security benefits recently have received letters that appear official but are not.
The letters tell them to call a telephone number or their benefits will be suspended. If you call, scammers will ask for personal information. They may also ask you to send payments through wire transfers or other methods.
Social Security personnel will never ask you for payments unless you need to pay a fine or fee. If you get a letter or phone call that is supposedly from Social Security, hang up. You can report the scam to Social Security using this form.
Watch for COVID-19 Scams
Generally, you should be suspicious of any phone calls, emails, or letters you receive regarding government benefits. Always protect your benefits by checking with a local agency to see if that communication you received is okay. You can also search online for information about the most recent scams. It’s a shame that you have to do this, but it is worth it to protect your benefits.
Call us if you need to file for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience working with clients just like you. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.