ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: Top 3 Social Security scams

ANDY'S CONSUMER TIP OF THE DAY: Top 3 Social Security scams

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The American Association of Retired Persons ( told consumer resource Bottom Line Personal magazine that these are the three most prevalent Social Security scams. They actually have been the preeminent SSA scams for years:

* THE SOCIAL SECURITY "IMPOSTOR." An identity thief contacts you by phone, e-mail or letter. The thief claims to be a Social Security employee double-checking records, asking for personal information like your number or your mother's maiden name. A real Social Security employee will never contact you to ask for that kind of information, especially considering the SSA issued that information to you in the first place!

* HIGHER BENEFITS FOR AN UP-FRONT FEE. A scammer guarantees, for a modest filing fee, he can score you a larger monthly Social Security check. Nope. It's a scam.

* THE LUMP-SUM SWINDLE. This is when someone claims you qualify for a lump-sum payment to make up for the recent lack of Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. Folks, there is no such thing as a lump-sum cushion for Social Security "COLAS."

Always check with your local Social Security office before taking the bait on one of these scams or contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

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