SSA Fraud and the COVID-19 Pandemic

woman sitting at table with phone and credit card in hand

While Social Security and State Unemployment Insurance (UI) fraud are nothing new, the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the world for nearly a year has presented new opportunities to scammers. Social Security scammers are using the public health crisis to exploit the unsuspecting, whether it be through impersonation of the Social Security Administration (SSA) or filing fraudulent claims using someone else’s identity. Currently, the United States Secret Service is investigating over 500 claims related to unemployment fraud in more than 40 states.

The effects of UI fraud can be damaging because someone who is receiving or applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) could become ineligible for benefits if it appears that they begin receiving unemployment benefits. If you have already been the victim of unemployment insurance fraud, the SSA provides ways to protect your credit and your identity.

How Can I Protect Myself from Unemployment Insurance Fraud?

There are steps you can take to protect your identity and your information from scammers. The Federal Trade Commission published a list of things everyone should know when it comes to Social Security scammers:

  • Caller ID is not always accurate;
  • The SSA would never threaten to suspend your Social Security number or seize your bank accounts;
  • The SSA will never ask you to list your full Social Security number over the phone, transfer funds, send money, or make a payment using gift cards; and
  • Discuss scam calls with loved ones and educate yourself on common UI fraud scamming tactics.

What to do if You Think You May be a Victim of UI Fraud

The SSA works continuously to verify whether SSI applicants and recipients are victims of unemployment insurance fraud, and you will not lose your payments due to a fraudulent unemployment claim. If you think that you may be a victim of fraud, report it to your state fraud hotline or your local unemployment office.

Call Today to Learn More about How COVID-19 Has Impacted SSA Fraud

Navigating the SSI program can be tough. If you’re not sure about whether you’re eligible for SSI, or if you’ve received a denial letter, our team can help investigate whether someone has filed a fraudulent unemployment insurance claim in your name. Reach out to our team today for more information on how SSA fraud has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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