The Social Security Administration (SSA) cautions that scammers are active even during the holidays. Please note that the 2023 cost-of-living adjustment for people receiving benefits adjust automatically and a beneficiary does not need to verify anything. Social Security will never ask that you provide information or money in order to receive a benefit increase. While the SSA may email or text about its services and programs, it will never request personal information via email or text. You should never provide your Social Security number over the telephone unless you initiated the phone call and are confident in who you are speaking with.
Recognizing the signs of a scam can help to avoid falling victim to one. Scammers pretend to represent an agency or organization that you know and trust. They primarily operate over the telephone but may also use email, text messages, social media, or the U.S. mail. Common statements from scammers include stating that there’s a problem with your Social Security number or account, pressuring you to act immediately, and asking for payment in specific way (often through prepaid cards).
If you receive a suspicious call, text, or email, hang up or don’t respond and report it to the Social Security Administration. Scammers frequently change methods with new tactics and messages to trick people. Regularly check the Office of the Inspector General’s website for information on scams. The Ohio Consumers’ Counsel also provides updated cautions and avoiding scams.