Beware of crisis-related scams

Senior Center News
Joni Schaff
Thursday, April 2, 2020
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The Inspector General of Social Security Gail E. Ennis is warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19 or coronavirusrelated office closures.

The Social Security Administration will not suspend or discontinue because their offices are closed. The SSA Office of the Inspector General has received reports that Social Security beneficiaries have received scam letters through the postal service stating payments will be suspended or discontinued unless the recipients call a phone number referenced in the letter. The scammers then ask beneficiaries to provide personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to receive regular benefit payments during this period of COVID-10 office closures.

As of Tuesday, March 17 local SSA offices are closed to the public due to COV- ID-19 concerns however, Social Security employees continue to work. Social Security will not suspend or decrease Social Security benefit payments or Supplemental Security Income payments during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Social Security will never:

• Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee.

• Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.

• Require payment by retail gift card, cash wire transfer, internet currency or prepaid debit card.

• Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security related problem.

• Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via mail.

• Share this information with your friends and family, to help spread awareness about Social Security scams.

We miss all of you very much. Hope you are all feeling well.

Meal reservations should be made one day in advance. Call us on what services are available daily.

The Hardin Senior Center, 317 N. Custer Ave. in Hardin, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is 665-2581. The Lodge Grass Senior Center, 119 Harding Ave in Lodge Grass, is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The phone number is 639-2265.