Officials: Social Security scam claimed over $37M in 2019

January 31, 2020 GMT

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — The Social Security Administration recorded nearly 500,000 complaints about attempted impersonation of agency employees alleging issues with a Social Security number, according to Gail Ennis the Social Security Administration’s inspector general.

The Senate Aging Committee held a hearing in Washington on Wednesday chaired by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in an effort to educate people on how to avoid scams.

Seniors are not the only demographic at risk, records indicate that young people are twice as likely to fall victim to the scam, The Sun Journal reported.

The average loss reported for those 20 to 29 years old was about $1,000 while the average for those 80 and up was $3,000, Ennis said.

The committee released the 2020 Fraud Book that said the Social Security scam claimed more than $37 million in 2019 — a number Collins suspects is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

“Educating people — particularly older Americans who are more likely to be targeted — and ramping up the government’s response are key to defeating this scam,” Collins said.