Watch for Social Security scams


Staff report



Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments will continue to be paid on time during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Commissioner Andrew Saul.

The agency also reminds everyone to be aware of scammers who try to take advantage of the pandemic to trick people into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency or by mailing cash, to maintain Social Security benefit payments or receive economic impact payments from the Department of the Treasury.

“Social Security will pay monthly benefits on time, and these payments will not be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Saul said. “I want our beneficiaries to be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping or somehow changing your Social Security payments, but that is not true. Don’t be fooled.”

The Department of the Treasury will soon provide information about economic impact payments under the recently enacted law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. Treasury, not Social Security, will be making direct payments to eligible people. Do not call Social Security about these payments, as the agency does not have information to share.

The agency continues to direct the public to its online self-service options whenever possible. Local offices are closed to the public but are available by phone. People can find their local field office phone number by accessing the field office locator.

To allow available agents to provide better phone coverage, the agency has temporarily changed the National 800 number hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time to 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. local time. The agency is experiencing longer than normal wait times on the 800 number, and asks the public to remain patient, use its online services at www.socialsecurity.gov or call their local office.

Visit the agency’s COVID-19 web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/coronavirus/ for important information and updates.

Staff report