Collins, Casey Request Information from FTC on Efforts to Combat Social Security Scam

The Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline has received a significant increase in complaints about the Social Security scam since last year

Click HERE to read Senators Collins and Casey’s letter.

 

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Aging Committee, wrote to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Joseph Simons to express their concern with the pervasive Social Security scam that is targeting seniors across the country.  The letter also requests more information about the steps the FTC has taken to protect Americans, especially seniors, from this scam.

 

The FTC’s own data show that the Social Security scam now tops the list of most-reported scams.  This aligns with data collected so far this year by the Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline (1-855-303-9470), where the Social Security scam has accounted for more than twice as many complaints as any other scam.  FTC data also suggest that this scam contributed to an increase in median financial losses reported by those ages 60-79 in 2018, compared to median losses reported in 2017. 

 

“We write to express our concern about the Social Security scam affecting older Americans in Maine and Pennsylvania, and across the country,” Senators Collins and Casey said in their letter.  “The criminals perpetrating this scam target Americans with millions of robocalls, often faking a call’s identifying information to impersonate the Social Security Administration (SSA) and trick people into acceding to their demands.  We urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take all available actions to combat this pernicious scam.”

 

The Social Security scam generally involves criminals impersonating Social Security staff and calling victims to fraudulently take money from them or obtain their personally identifiable information. In one iteration of this scam, victims are told that their Social Security number has been suspended and that there is a warrant for their arrest.  The fraudsters claim they need additional information from victims to verify their identity. 

 

Last month, Senators Collins and Casey sent a letter to Social Security Administration (SSA) Inspector General Gail Ennis, urging her to review the SSA’s efforts to combat the Social Security scam, including the steps that have been taken to limit the scam’s effect on customer service.  The letter also requested more information about the Office of Inspector General’s own work to address this scam.

 

Click HERE to read Senators Collins and Casey’s letter to the FTC.