Friday, May 15, 2009

Watch out for stimulus scams

Social Security Stimulus Money Targeted by Scam Artists
From Alliance for Retired Americans

Seniors waiting for their $250 Social Security stimulus money should be wary of scammers taking advantage of confusion over the benefit. Most Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will automatically receive the one-time stimulus the same way they receive their regular monthly payment, either by direct deposit or by debit card or paper check. The main exception is Social Security recipients who are also employed; they will instead see a reduction in paycheck withholding throughout the year. The first payments went out on May 7, and all should be distributed by June 4. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette warns Social Security recipients not to respond to any emails or phone calls asking for their bank account number or other personal information to “verify” that the recipient qualifies for the payment. Other emails ask recipients to pay a fee to apply for the stimulus money. Suspected fraud should be reported to the Social Security Fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271. If you do not receive an expected payment by June 4, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 after that date.