June 16, 2024

![Sens. Bob Casey and Susan Collins discussing](https://investmentshoax.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Casey-and-Collins-012920-1024×598.jpg)

Fraudsters have reportedly shifted their focus from impersonating IRS employees to Social Security workers in an attempt to cheat elderly citizens, according to the Senate Special Committee on Aging’s 2020 “Fraud Book”.

Conversely, the IRS impersonation scam was not the most reported scam in 2019, as has been the case since the introduction of the committee’s fraud hotline and web page in 2013. Instead, the Social Security impersonation scam now holds this title, with the IRS scam dropping to number 7.

Scammers pretending to be Social Security employees managed to fool US citizens out of $38 million in 2019, reports Senate Aging Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME). She went on to suggest that the actual figure is likely much higher, as those affected are often too embarrassed to report their losses or unsure of who to contact.

Susan Collins, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), and an additional 11 committee members have since sent a letter to Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar, seeking further information on how the Elder Justice Coordinating Council intends to counter the Social Security scam and better protect US citizens, particularly the elderly.

Private sector participation will also play a key role in stopping these scams, notes Casey, and he is currently working on related legislation with Sen. Jerry Moran. The Stop Senior Scams Act, if passed, will require banks, wire transfer companies, and retailers to train their employees to identify scams before money can change hands. This bill was approved by the Commerce Committee last year, and Casey is working to get it passed in the Senate.

The Social Security Administration representatives shared on ways they have been addressing these issues, such as educating employees and the public, and collaborating with government agencies to investigate potential fraud cases. The SSA OIG unveiled a form on their website in November to assist the public in reporting suspected impersonation scams.

Inspector General of the Social Security Administration, Gail Ennis, noted in prepared remarks that this step has been greatly beneficial. It has enabled them to receive more timely, precise information from the public, including scammer call-back numbers, caller IDs, and fraud loss amounts, thus helping in investigative processes.

The Top Ten Reported Scams of 2019

In 2019, the Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline received 1,341 complaints from across the US. A staggering 70% of these complaints were for the top 10 scams.

To report a scam, call (855) 303-9470 or file an online report at https://www.aging.senate.gov/fraud-hotline.

According to the report, the top 10 scams reported in 2019 were:

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  • `Social Security Impersonation Scam (371 cases)
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  • `Robocalls/Unsolicited Phone Calls (123)
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  • `Jamaican Lottery Scam (107 cases)
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  • `Romance Scam (99 cases)
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  • `Computer Tech Support Scam (93 cases)
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  • `Grandparent Scam (51 cases)
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  • `IRS Impersonation Scams (34 cases)
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  • `Identity Theft (27 cases)
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  • `Debt Scams (21 cases)
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  • `Elder Financial Abuse (18 cases).

    Maine and Pennsylvania, states represented by Senators Collins and Casey, respectively, reported the most cases (367 and 111). Iowa, Florida, California, and Texas followed, with 110, 83, 76, and 52 complaints, respectively.

    The predominant scam types in each state are detailed in the book, which also includes a list of useful anti-fraud resources.

    A recording of Wednesday’s committee hearing, including the remarks of the committee leaders and testimonies, is available here.

    ### Frequently Asked Questions:

    **Q1: What is the new top reported scam?**
    The new top reported scam is the Social Security impersonation scam, replacing the IRS impersonation scam which has held the top spot since 2013.

    **Q2: What steps are the government taking to tackle this issue?**
    The government has been addressing this issue by, amongst other things, educating employees and the public on these scams, collaborating with governmental agencies to investigate potential fraud cases, and releasing a form on the SSA OIG website to assist the public in reporting suspected impersonation scams.

    **Q3: What is the role of the private sector in tackling this issue?**
    Expected to play a key role, the private sector, comprising banks, wire transfer companies, and retailers, may soon be legally required to train their employees to identify scams before any money can change hands. This action is part of the proposed Stop Senior Scams Act, which is pending Senate approval.