The Office of the Inspector General and Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington are warning elderly Americans to watch out for frauds targeting direct deposit Social Security benefits.
Scammers write, call or email to phish for personal information like names, addresses, Social Security numbers and bank account information. Then, they contact the Social Security Administration to request that benefits be routed—or re-routed—to accounts which they have established.
The timing of these scams is no coincidence.
With the recent mandate by the United States Department of the Treasury to phase out all paper checks by March 1, 2013, benefit recipients will be required to establish electronic direct deposit alternatives.
Legitimate beneficiaries are encouraged to enroll at godirect.gov. If benefit payments are more than a few days late, call the Social Security Administration immediately at 1-800-772-1213.
For more information on recognizing and avoiding scams, visit bbb.org/scam-source.