Don’t Let Scammers Prey on Your Generosity

natural disastersNatural disasters bring out the best in people. The ever-present generosity of Americans is front and center right now, as we try to help the victims of the Louisiana flood. Millions have given their time and donated to the relief funds and charities.

Unfortunately, times like these also bring out people looking to profit from others’ misfortune. For example, by creating fake charities and devising other ways to take advantage of donors.

Social Security commends your giving spirit, but we want to make sure your information is safe. We’ve cautioned you before that scammers use dishonest methods to gain access to your information. Charity scams are one of these schemes.

Charity scams can take many forms, including phishing emails that contain links or attachments directing users to malware-infected websites, which can damage your computer and put your information at risk.

The Federal Trade Commission is urging everyone to be careful when donating to charities that claim to benefit the victims of the Louisiana flood. When choosing a charity, you should do proper research to make sure they’ll use the money for what they say they will. You should donate to reputable charities sanctioned by the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance.

Avoid phishing scams and malware on your computer by not opening emails with links or attachments unless you know who sent them.

Don’t fall victim to scammers looking to take advantage of your generous spirit. Our previous blog entry shows you how to stay in control of your information. For more information, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information page and check out our website.


28 thoughts on “Don’t Let Scammers Prey on Your Generosity

  1. Beware also of so called charitable foundations in which only 10% of the donations go to aid victims of natural disasters and the rest is used to keep political operatives employed between elections. The Clinton Foundation comes to mind.

    • There is no use arguing with someone so uninformed and bigoted. Just make sure you cash your Federal Government Social Security checks and use your Federal Government Medicare while you criticize those “takers” you so despise.

      • For your information, Mr. Lane, Social Security and Medicare benefits are EARNED by workers contributing to those funds each and every payday. I paid into the system for 54 years, so I’m certainly not a “taker.” I earned my own way for all those years. These benefits are not a “government” handout . . .

        • Please read the comment again, I was not criticizing Social Security retirees/Medicare recipients. I am one of those citizens, too. I was criticizing those hypocrites who would deny needed benefits (like, say, Obamacare or Medicaid) to others while gladly accepting their government benefits, earned or otherwise.

  2. The majority of emails that I received either requesting monies or informing me that I have won some “millions of dollars” go directly into my “junk email”. I never click on any hyper-link from some email address that I personally do not know. The sames goes for telephone calls, if I do not recognize either the caller ID or telephone number I let it go to my answer machine. Nine times out of ten the caller never leaves a message.

  3. Feeling good about donating to a bogus charity is deplorable, There are many scammers thieves, and downright bums, don’t be a victim to these cheaters.

  4. On August 16,2016 I got a phone call from gentleman saying I was being given Federal grant that did not have to be paid back. My access Code #As125. I was to call 202-657-5628. Ext.375 Michelle Bach. I called Michelle gave her my code. Advised me to go to CVS and get an I Tones card for $250.00. Then call Federal Reserve Bank New York315-215-0752 speak to Sam Walters. Give them Trans #. QMC351287 I gave number to Mr Walters. Then I was to call him back on Wednesday August 24,2016 with another I Tones card for $825.50 and call Mr Walters with number on back of card. The two ladies at CVS ask who this was going to. I told them and they both said that is is a scam and would not sell me the card. So I called Sam Walters and told him they would not get anymore of my money. Had I got the$825.50 card then they would wire to my Bank $9075.50 for my account. I called the BBB here in Wichita Falls, Texas and told them about it.

  5. Scammers are everywhere and especially in the socialist security system. Can you imagine how much money is lost every month to social security scams and nothing is ever said about it, just the cost of doing business I guess. Tony (the person who post regularly) is right about some people scamming the system. Many “able bodied” people I know receive regular “disability payments” from the scam that is socialist security. On the other hand, I am physically disabled and have never received ONE CENT of money from the socialist security system. Not because I haven’t applied, but because of discriminatory “Rules” that they have.

    I am 45 years old, a mother of three older children and physically disabled ( I was born with cerebral palsy ). I’ve never collected one red cent of money from the Socialist Security System, even though I have applied several times and they find me disabled.

    Technically, I am an “adult disabled child” (please look this up, it is NOT SSI or SSDI) but have never been able to secure any benefits whatsoever from the Socialist Security system, even under that program because I got married to an “Able bodied person”. The Socialist Security system is too busy paying benefits to some people who scam the system and worrying about adult disabled children (who they pay benefits to off of a parents record) marrying an able bodied person. This gives them the justification to cut off benefits to the adult disabled child because the husband (in theory) can now support the disabled person. This theory works great, if your husband is rich and you have no need for money but what it actually does, is to force two adults (one disabled one able bodied person) to live off of one income. In the real world, the socialist security system is forcing adult disabled children to only marry other disabled persons (and NO able bodied persons) at the threat of loosing any and all benefits that they are entitled to.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

    • Have you considered opening a day care for income? Your raising three children would make you qualified to do this. It is a good business.

      • Thanks, the State of Texas that I live in has very strict rules on opening a daycare in home. What I am doing is more along the lines of trying to change a mindset overall and maybe awaken some of those close minds inside the Social Security system.

        Thanks again,

  6. The SSA is trying to put these charity out of business. The scammers won’t have a job anymore. The scammers might go and scam Social Security disability. It is much easier to scam Social Security disability.

  7. These senior citizens don’t know any better. You got the SSA telling senior to donate to a charity sanctioned by the Better Business Bureau. The SSA is now in the business of endorsing charities and the Better Business Bureau.

    Businesses pay money to the BBB for an A+ rating. No matter how much consumers complain, the BBB will never remove the A+ rating because the businesses are paying them too much money for the A+ rating.

    The businesses gets a B or C rating and they will not donate to the BBB.

  8. Social security does nothing about fraud reported it for over 5 years someone using fake I identity and they have done nothing should go to local media with the proof they allow illegals to use a fake ss so they can pay taxes..disgusting

  9. As I was applying to move my life’s savings to a credit union ( from ML), I was denied an account. When I called to ask why the manager told me that it seemed that there were two other people using my SSN. The only thing SSA did when I tried to report this is to tell me to go to the site, ‘’. Why isn’t SSA interested in letting us notify them directly?? Although my bank accounts have not been affected nor from what I see online at SSA, my earning records are correct, the fact that I cannot manage to move my money from one banking institution to another if very stressful for me. Merrill Lynch is refusing to service my account with them ( after being a loyal client for 32 years) because I am an American who choses to live in Europe and they don’t want the hassles of reporting due to the FATCA regulations now in affect. I believe if SSA would do something about situations like mine, they would catch the thieves using my card for whatever purposes. And the person who says it’s been five years and SSA sitll hasn’t done anything about his situation really upsets me.

  10. I receive small SS benefit for my work in USA ($100 x month) many years ago and also I receive Australian full pension.
    I wonder if I move to live in Thailand my USA benefits will stop ????.
    I know my Australian pension is Ok to be paid in Thailand but what about the US benefits ???
    I am Australian citizen and my US benefit represent about food for 20 or more days.
    Can someone in SS advise me on this ???? before I do anything and pls send me an email

  11. Wow. Your post truly touched my heart as a mom. What a blessing for you and your daughter. May you be blessed by mutual meiagnnful learning, your love, respect, enjoyment of the other that increases throughout the years.

  12. A male voice on my cell phone voicemail says: “We have suspended your Social Security Number due to suspicious activity. Press 1 to continue”. I hung up the phone, went online to whitepages reverse phone and searched for 508-815-4042. Other people received this phone scam too.

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