If you get a phone call from the Social Security Administration, don’t answer. The call is not from the Social Security Administration — it’s crooks calling, trying to have your monthly SSA checks redirected to them.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, issued a warning about a new scam involving the impersonation of Social Security Administration employees.

Reports to the Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline and the SSA Office of the Inspector General describe how fraudsters call victims, pretending they’re Social Security employees.

The con artists tell the victims they are due a cost-of-living adjustment. They ask for their names, date of birth, Social Security numbers and parents’ names.

If the criminals get all that information, they can use the information to redirect victims’ direct SSA deposits to their bank account, not the seniors’ bank account.

“This scam can cause immense harm to seniors, many of whom rely on Social Security benefits as their primary source of income each month,” Collins said in a press release.

“No one should give any personal information to unknown callers,” the release states. “Anyone receiving an unsolicited call regarding their Social Security benefits should immediately hang up and report it to the SSA Inspector General and the Senate Aging Committee.”

SSA employees will never ask for personal information over the phone, Collins said.

If anyone receives one of these calls, hang up and report it to the SSA OIG Hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or to the Senate Aging Committee’s Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.

Senior citizens are more at risk for phone fraud because older people are more likely to answer the phone, experts said.

They recommend people not answer their phone and let the calls go to voice mail. Verify what the caller said by calling the agency or company yourself, not using the number left on your voice mail.

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