MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Joining us this morning is Jamie Harding with AARP Alabama, I talked to her over Zoom last week. We’re talking about social security scams–very common, but what are some new pandemic twists you’re seeing?

Guest: A threat to cut or suspend your benefits from Social Security due to the pandemic and a lot of folks are worried about many issues surrounding the pandemic so scammers are taking advantage of those real fears and concerns and scaring you into thinking benefits are about to be cut or suspended. We want people to know that no benefits are being cut let’s just be clear about that, any communication you receive about this know it’s a scam whether it’s from an email phone call or text message just know it’s not true.

Chad: How do people know it’s a scam and what do they say and what do they do when confronted with it?

Guest: They should know it’s a scam because it’s not happening, no one in social security is going to tell you your benefits are being cut or suspended in any way because that’s just not happening, social security is sound there’s nothing with social security being impacted by the pandemic we want people to rest assured their benefits are not going to be cut

Chad: Let’s talk about the endgame, what are the scammers trying to get at, do they want people to give up personal information so their benefits won’t be cut in this fictitious scenario?

Guest: Yes, they’ll try to get you to give out your social security number, they’ll say oh we need to confirm your identity or you need to pay a fee or we need your bank account information confirmed because we’re going to cut your benefits, a smaller check is going to go to your bank account but we need to confirm your bank account number. All of this is just a way of stealing your benefits, or stealing your social security number so they can go and use it to steal your identity, that’s a scary scenario, having your identity stolen can take years to resolve so no one from social security is ever going to ask you to confirm your bank account number or your social security number. They have your social security number they don’t need you to confirm it for them.

Chad: I think people also need to watch out for high-pressure tactics, what do people need to listen for

Guest: Anytime someone pressures you to take any action on a single phone call you can trust that is a scam. Never, ever give out your personal information or offer to make a payment to someone based on one phone call, even if it sounds like it’s coming from a charity or something like that, always hang up, and do your own research in this case if you get a call, a text or an email or anything that claims to be from social security hang up, delete the email whatever you need to do, don’t click on any links in it