Starting March 1, 2013 all Social Security recipients will be required to receive their benefits through an automatic electronic deposit into the recipient’s bank account. This is both a much more efficient way of providing benefit payments as well as a great opportunity for scammers. Many people are already receiving telephone calls and emails purportedly from Social Security asking for personal information, such as the person’s name, Social Scurity number and bank account information. Sometimes the people who are contacted by the scammers are already receiving electronic deposits. In that situation they are told by the scammers that a computer malfunction caused the loss of the information.
Never give information over the phone to people whom you have not called and are not absolutely sure are legitimate. In this case, the Social Security Administration never contacts people by email requesting information. Neither would they ask you for personal information by phone. As always, if you have a concern that the caller or email is legitimate, merely call your local Social Security office to find out if it is a scam. Most likely it is.