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Scammers Using COVID-19 Closures to Target Social Security Recipients

A stack of social security cardsPolice say scammers are sending fraudulent letters threatening the suspension of Social Security Benefits because of the coronavirus crisis and resulting closures.

According to police, the fraud letters are sent in the mail and say the beneficiary will be suspended or discontinued unless they call the provided phone number.

The scammers then try to mislead the person into giving personal and financial information for the beneficiary to continue to receive their payments throughout the pandemic.

According to police, a Boalsburg resident recently received a letter asking the person to confirm an address change.

Local Social Security Administration offices have been closed since March 17, but police say the employees are still working.

The SSA won’t suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed, police say.

“Social security will not suspend or decrease Social Security benefit payments or Supplemental Security Income payments due to the current COVID19 pandemic,” police warned in a release. “Any communication you receive that says SSA will do so is a scam, whether you receive it by letter, text, email, or phone call.”

Police say Social Security will never:

  • threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee;
  • promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment;
  • require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card;
  • demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem;
  • or send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If you receive a letter, text, email or phone call regarding your social security that you think is suspicious, you should contact your local police.

Source: https://wjactv.com/news/local/your-social-security-benefits-wont-be-suspended-because-of-covid-19-police-warn

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