The pair are alleged to have facilitated the scam that robbed at least two dozen victims of more than $400,000
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), the Chairman of the Aging Committee, applauded the announcement by the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration that two individuals were arrested for their alleged role in a significant Social Security imposter scam case. Between May 2019 and January 2020, these individuals allegedly laundered over $400,000 sent by at least 24 victims of Social Security impersonation and tech support phone scams.
“Under my leadership, the Aging Committee has worked to help stop pervasive scams such as the Social Security scam, which ranked as the top-reported complaint to the Committee’s Fraud Hotline last year,” Senator Collins said. “Every day, Americans fall victim to these unscrupulous scam artists who seek to rob seniors of their hard-earned savings. I applaud the legal actions by the Department of Justice, which should put all scammers on notice that they will be prosecuted.”
The Social Security imposter scam typically involves fraudsters telling victims that their Social Security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity or has been used in a crime. The scammers claim that the situation can only be resolved by providing sensitive personal information or payment in the form of gift cards, a wire transfer, or cash.
Senator Collins has championed efforts to expose scams by encouraging a robust response from federal law enforcement agencies and cautioning all Americans, particularly seniors, to be on the lookout. Over the past seven years, the Aging Committee has held 25 hearings examining scams targeting seniors. In January 2020, Senator Collins led an Aging Committee hearing titled, “That’s Not the Government Calling: Protecting Seniors from the Social Security Impersonation Scam,” examining the Social Security impersonation scam, what is being done to address it, and what more can be done.
Senator Collins also led letters to the Social Security Administration, SSA Office of the Inspector General, FTC, and the Elder Justice Coordinating Council to request information about the steps these agencies are taking to address the Social Security scam and to urge agency leaders to take action to protect seniors.
Under Senator Collins’ leadership, the Aging Committee developed the annual Fraud Book, which details the top 10 scams reported to the Committee’s Fraud Hotline. The Fraud Book helps to raise awareness of elder financial fraud and educate seniors and their families about the most common scams.