AARP is helping SSA and its Office of the Inspector General warn you about scammers using Social Security in coronavirus (COVID-19) scams. AARP has a new webinar available for free (find it at bit.ly/2B2kMeY, registration is required), advising the public that scammers’ tactics continue to evolve, and they are now using coronavirus to try to scare us. Don’t be fooled!

Scammers may contact you by phone, letter, text, or email impersonating government officials to trick you into providing money or personal information. They may tell you Social Security is going to stop your benefits because its offices are closed, or ask you to pay a fee to receive extra benefits due to the pandemic. Scammers may even pose as COVID-19 contact tracers working to stop the spread of the virus and ask for payment or your Social Security Number. Don’t be fooled!

Social Security and other government agencies will never:

• Call you to request information or payment due to coronavirus or office closures.

• Threaten to arrest you because of an identity theft problem.

• Require you to put money into a protected account.

• Ask you for payment by gift card, wire transfer, internet currency, or by mailing cash.

• Tell you to make up a story to tell your family or bank employees about why you need gift cards or cash.

Social Security continues to pay benefits during the pandemic. Social Security has closed offices to the public to follow social distancing guidelines, but its employees are still hard at work. If you have questions about how the coronavirus has affected Social Security services, visit its Coronavirus (COVID-19) website, ssa.gov/coronavirus.

If you receive a suspicious call or communication, do not call the number they give you. Don’t respond in any way. Ignore the message, never click the link, and hang up the phone without providing any information or even giving your name. To report a Social Security scam, contact the Office of the Inspector General. Share this information with your loved ones, and help us “slam the scam.”

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