Does It Sound Too Good To Be True?

Have you heard the expression, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”?  That is a good rule of thumb to spot a scam. Educating yourself is the best defense against fraud, identity theft, and scams. National Consumer Protection Week, sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), takes place March 5 to11, 2017. It’s the perfect time to learn about and share ways to make informed choices and protect yourself. To learn more or to get involved, visit the FTC website.

Social Security strives to provide world-class service. One element of superior service is to share information about scams concerning Social Security that are currently circulating.

A current email scam invites people to take advantage of “a little known Social Security contract” which enables you to receive “little known benefits.” Think that sounds too good to be true? It should — there is no “little known Social Security contract.”

What are some clues that scams might not be legitimate? They insist that the situation is urgent and issue warnings. They try to convince you to act now to avoid a dire consequence. They promise a deal or secret that the public doesn’t know about. They come from organizations unknown to you. They offer things the government doesn’t want you to know, but they don’t come from a .gov website.

The FTC’s website maintains a list of scams in the news. You can sign up to be notified by email when new scams surface. You can also get free consumer education materials and read the latest from consumer protection experts. Stay well informed by visiting the FTC scam alert page.

Social Security takes scams and fraud seriously. It’s in your best interest to find out about scams and how they work so you won’t fall victim to one yourself. Protect yourself by learning how to avoid scams and fraud. You can search for “identity theft” or “phishing scam” on our website, www.socialsecurity.gov, to learn more about how to protect yourself. Then you’ll be the one who knew it sounded too good to be true. We help secure your today and tomorrow by providing you valuable information to guard against fraud. You can learn more about the ways we fight fraud at www.socialsecurity.gov/antifraudfacts.

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33 thoughts on “Does It Sound Too Good To Be True?

  1. tried to get help from ssa to fix my home have three elders living here bathroom needs fixed roof also leak under house

    • Hi, James. Thanks for your comment. We do not provide these services. However, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services office. We hope this helps!

      • this is not sound good for me because my check is stop even I request a appeal.on march 01 my ssi check stop this not sound good for RAY

        • Hi Lesly. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal records in this venue. We encourage you to contact your local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for further assistance and a thorough explanation. Thanks.

    • Why anyone would remotely think that the SSA would have anything to do with fixing your toilet or roof escapes all reason and logic. Now you know why the scam artists are able to take advantage of people.

  2. HaHaHa! Indeed! Bet lots of folks feel cheated right now. Just remember, Friends, Don’t Agonize: ORGANIZE! We shall overcome! <3 🙂

  3. You can obtain the caller’s name and office location and state you will call them back. Then verify their existence and contact information with your local office or the national 800# by phone. If the information fails to match, let the agency employee know you think you were about to be victimized by a scam.

  4. My Social Security is wired to my prior bank where I once lived. How do I change it to a bank near my current home?

    • Thanks for your question James. If you receive Social Security benefits you can create a my Social Security account and change your direct deposit online. If you receive SSI benefits, and want to update direct deposit information, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day. We hope this information helps!

  5. When I retired and turned 62 I applied for SS. I was only entitled to about 800.00 a month or so. I get my pension from the city of LA which I paid for. I was only entitled to 8 or 9 hundred a month from SS> When I applied, I was told I would only get 150.00 a month because of my pension. I thought That if I paid into a pension, I should be able to get it.ave interviewed people on SS that have never paid into it and get more than me. Not faif.

  6. I have a disabled health care worker friend. She worked full time and paid in for 35 years. She missed one day of work. She broke her ankle and it healed wrong. The ankle break threw her back out because of having to over compensate for the ankle. Now she needs back & ankle surgery. She waited over 2 years to qualify for SSDI. Now she has to wait until November for Medicare to kick in. Florida doesn’t give medicaid unless you have children or are over 65. We treat refugees better.

    • Suggest you have her petition the Florida State legislators to change the law and allow medicaid for those pending receipt of Medicare. Remember medicaid is means tested and she might still not be entitled to medicaid because she does not meet the income and resource test.

      • She was means tested and qualified. Having to be found disabled, then having to wait 2 additional years to be eligible for Medicare is a stretch for anyone. Florida opted out of the ACA. Thank you for the response.

    • John B, since she receives SSDI, if her income is low enough she may be eligible for Medicaid until her Medicare kicks in. Those that are found disabled by SSA may be eliglble for Medicaid if their total household income is low enough.

      When someone receives SSDI, they have to wait the 5 month waiting period plus 24 months for Medicare to kick in.

  7. I paid into SS for many years. When I retired I applied for SS. I was told that since I had a (City of LA) pension which I paid for I could only get 150.00. I told the SS that if I did not work or PAY into SS I could get approx. 1500.00a month. I was told yes,but you have a city of LA pension which I paid form so I could not receive two govt pensions. I was granted 150.00 a month. I was told that if I had not paid into it I could get up to 1500.00 a month. After 20 years of collecting SS I now get 170.00 a month.This is why americans are always complaining.

  8. To Mr. James Brown, please allow me to suggest looking for a charity named “Rebuilding Together”.
    They make home repairs at no charge for home owners who qualify.
    Ask a friend with a computer to help you determine if a Rebuilding Together office is near your home. Good luck.

  9. I paid into SS for many years. Upon retiring I was told I would get approx. 800.00 per month. Whebn I applied I was told that I had two govt pensions, so I could only get 150.00 per month. I know people who have never worked and get more that what I was entitled to. this is why Americans are so disgusted with our govt.

  10. IJ worked 12 years as a mailman,28 years as an LAPD 3 years in the Army. I was intitled to 1600 a month,but because I earned a pension. I get 169.00 a month. I earned my pension and my SS. A lot of people on SS did not

  11. when is the old law going back into effect ie when you retire at 66 you can earn as much as you want and not pay income tax on Social Security benefits??????

    This is so not right that i have to pay income tax on Social Security benefits….Social Security money is NOT earned income so why is it taxed? It’s my money that i saved all those years of working! Change the law!

    • Hi Maggie, if you work and are full retirement age or older, the amount you make at work will not affect your Social Security benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you were born January 2, 1943, through January 1, 1955, then your full retirement age for retirement insurance benefits is 66. Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. However, everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. Also, some people have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits. For further income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. Thanks!

  12. I go along with the above comments. We have already paid the Federal once, then we retire and have to pay it again. What a country we live in.!!??

  13. I need to know the difference between SSI and social security for disable people this is for mr ray Fernandez,public affairs specialist.

    • The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs-based program that pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities, who meet the financial limits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, on the other hand, are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For more information on the difference between Social Security disability and SSI, check out http://1.usa.gov/1CoKf6I. We hope this helps!

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