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Identity Thieves Use New Scam to Get Seniors’ Social Security Benefits

October 9, 2012

New York – Identity thieves are now employing a new fraud scheme to get the Social Security benefits of seniors and the disabled by directly transferring the funds to their own bank accounts or to prepaid debit cards, reports said.

After obtaining the personal information of the victims, such as their full names and bank account numbers, the thieves would then call the Social Security Administration to request for the rerouting of payments.

According to Social Security Administration (SSA) Inspector General Patrick O’Carroll, some of the seniors fall prey to the scam after giving their personal information and bank account details to claim big prizes from lotteries. Apparently, such lotteries are just ploys to obtain sensitive personal data.

The scam emerged after the SSA encouraged all its beneficiaries to switch to direct deposits in order to meet a new a regulation that aims to stop the distribution of paper checks.

Meanwhile, as of August 31, the SSA’s inspector general’s office had already received more than 19,000 reports which made “questionable” changes or has attempted to change the direct deposit information of the beneficiaries. The agency also continually receives around 50 similar reports daily.

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