The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received reports about people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) who are trying to obtain your Social Security number (SSN) and even take your money.

Scam Scenario 0ne: In one version of the scam, the caller says your SSN has been linked to a crime (often, they say it happened in Texas) involving drugs or sending money out of the country illegally. Then they say your Social Security number is blocked–but they might ask you for a fee to reactivate it, or to get a new number. They will then ask you to confirm your Social Security number.

Scam Scenario Two: In other variations, they’ll say that somebody used your Social Security number to apply for credit cards, and you could lose your benefits. They’ll also might warn you that your bank account is about to be seized, that you need to withdraw your money, and that they’ll tell you how to keep it safe.

These scenarios are scams

  • The SSA will never call and ask for your SSN.
  • SSA will not ask you to pay anything.
  • SSA will not call to threaten your benefits.
  • Your caller ID might show the SSA’s real phone number (1-800-772-1213). Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. Do not trust that number; ignore the call.
  • Never provide your SSN nor confirm the last four digits of SSN to anyone who contacts you in this way. Do not provide a bank account nor credit card number–ever–to anybody who contacts you by phone asking for it.
  • Be wary of anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash. This individual is always a scammer.

If you are suspicious about a call from someone who claims to be from the Social Security Administration, simply hang up and call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

If you have spotted a scam, report your experience to the FTC at ftccomplaintassistant.gov. To learn more, you can go to Fake Calls about your SSN

Obtain contact information for your local Social Security office by speaking with a Sourcewise Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.

Lung Cancer Screening

Medicare Part B covers lung cancer screening using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) if the individual meets all the following criteria:

  • Aged 55 to 77
  • No signs or symptoms of lung cancer
  • Current smoker or quit smoking within the past 15 years
  • Tobacco smoking history averaging one pack per day for 20 years (“20 pack-years”)
  • An order from a doctor or healthcare provider

Take advantage of these preventative services offered by Medicare by asking for them for yourself or your loved one. In this way, older adults can reduce their risk of developing substance abuse disorders or mitigate its effects to maintain healthier lifestyles.

References

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020, July). Substance use in older adults drugfacts. Substance Use in Older Adults DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) (nih.gov)
  2. gov. (n.d.). Preventive & screening services. preventive services (medicare.gov)

 

This project was supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $94,686 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.