In order to receive Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI), an applicant must fill out an application and be approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Unfortunately, many people do not exercise their due diligence before applying for benefits. At times, they fall prey to social security disability fraud sites and are scammed by fake callers who claim to be able to “fast track” their application. If you are trying to get disability benefits, it is important that you do not fall into the trap of a scammer.
Keep an Eye Out for Social Security Fraud Advisories
The Acting Inspector General of Social Security for the Office of the Inspector General at the SSA issues frequent fraud advisory warnings that help alert the public about ongoing phishing scams related to Social Security issues. In 2016, for example, the Inspector General issued an advisory explaining that there was an e-mail fraud campaign where scammers were reaching out to people, whether they had or had not started an application for benefits. These particular scammers would contact people and tell them they needed some “additional information” to complete their application. The scammers would then ask the people to confirm their Social Security numbers and/or bank account numbers. Sometimes, the scammers even set up a fake website that mirrored the SSA’s to make people believe they were filling out a legitimate application.
A similar advisory warned of an e-mail with the subject “Review Your Social Security Activity” from a sender claiming to be the “Social Security Administration” and the e-mail even bears the SSA’s official seal. It then takes people to a website to ask for their social security number. Unfortunately, with the advances in technology, hackers and scammers are becoming more sophisticated and people cannot always tell the scams from real sites.
Tips to Avoid Social Security Disability Fraud
There are a few steps you may want to take to avoid falling for Social Security scams:
- Do not give your Social Security numbers or any personal information to anyone you do not know.
- Do not wire money or agree to pay anyone who calls you.
- Make sure you regularly check your benefits status online to ensure your application was completed.
- Do not give into pressure. If someone calls you and is trying to force you to give them your information, this is likely a scam.
What If You Are a Victim of Fraud?
If you believe you are a victim of fraud, the SSA OIG has a Fraud Hotline and online service where you may report any information you may have. Your reports will help the SSA gather information for the purpose of issuing additional advisory warnings. However, you should not expect to be contacted by the SSA. In fact, the SSA has made it clear on their website that they will not provide anyone with a status update of any allegation made and reported to them.
Get Help From an Experienced Disability Attorney
It is difficult to understand the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits, even without considering the possibility of fraud. To help maximize your chances of successfully applying for benefits, contact the experienced Mount Pleasant Social Security disability benefits attorneys at Klok Law Firm, LLC.
Contact us today for a free consultation.