The phony phone call from a scammer posing as an IRS agent threatening severe penalties if the person receiving the call has proven to be a very successful scam for the criminals making those calls so it is not surprising that scammers are branching out and now are making calls to unwary seniors purporting to be representatives of the Social Security Administration. There are a number of variations of this scam, but perhaps the most common is where the person receiving the call is told that in order to receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), they must confirm personal information including their name, birth date and Social Security number. The truth is that this information is not required for a person to receive a cost-of-living adjustment which is automatic and if the person does provide this personal information, the scammer will use it to make the person a victim of identity theft.
You do not have to confirm information or apply for any cost-of-living adjustment. It is automatically added to a Social Security recipient’s payment. In addition, you should never give out personal information on the phone to someone you have not called unless you are absolutely sure that the call is legitimate and there is a legitimate need for that information. Scammers can trick your Caller ID through a technique called spoofing into making it appear that the call is from the Social Security Administration or any other entity they wish.