Protecting Seniors from Social Security AI Scams

If you are a senior or have older family members or friends you care about, it’s crucial to be aware of the risks associated with elder financial exploitation. While this exploitation can manifest in various ways, scams aimed at seniors are notably prevalent. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has introduced a new and dangerous tool for scam artists seeking to exploit seniors. AI-driven fraud, especially in the form of Social Security scams, is becoming increasingly common. To safeguard seniors, the Indianapolis attorneys at Frank & Kraft, discuss how you can help protect seniors from Social Security AI scams.

How AI Helps Scam Artists?

Sadly, many predators intentionally prey on the elderly because of certain traits that often make them easy targets. Not only do seniors tend to have more money and assets than their younger counterparts, but they are also frequently more trusting than those same counterparts. Add to that the fact that older individuals are usually technologically challenged, and it becomes clear why seniors are so often victimized by scam artists who steal their money or information that can be used to steal money and assets. The rise of AI has added to the arsenal scammers use to fool seniors, making their scams appear even more realistic. Unfortunately, a 2023 Social Security fraud awareness study that surveyed 1,000 Americans with an average age of 60, revealed that 75 percent of all seniors are unaware of AI-powered scams targeting them and nearly one in five Social Security beneficiaries admitted lacking confidence in recognizing AI-driven Social Security scams. In short, AI has increased the risk for seniors of falling victim to financial exploitation.

What Are AI Social Security Scams?

Scam artists have long used variations of the Social Security scam that involve contacting people under the guise of the SSA and eliciting personal information from victims that can then be used to steal their identity. Today, AI is being incorporated into these scams through the use of chatbots and robocalls, effectively allowing scammers to contact infinitely more victims in the hope of finding one that will fall for the scam. The robocalls or online chats appear to involve a legitimate SSA representative who asks for identifying information from the victim. Some scammers even use voice synthesis and natural language processing to arrange for fraudulent payments to be made by the victims.

Along with robocalls and chatbots, predators have created AI-generated videos, featuring the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration or even the U.S. President, that can be found on the internet. These videos target seniors by supposedly announcing new benefits that seniors may be entitled to and encouraging them to click a link to find out if they qualify. The victim is then directed to input personal information which is stolen and used to steal the victim’s identity. Sometimes, a victim’s Social Security check is even redirected to the scam artist’s bank account which, of course, cannot be traced.

How Can I Prevent Being the Victim of an AI Social Security Scam?

To avoid falling victim to an AI Social Security Scam, do not answer calls, interact with online chats, or reply to emails that purport to be from the Social Security Administration. The SSA does not initiate contact through email, text messages, or phone calls which means that anyone trying to contact you using one of those methods is a fraud. Legitimate communication from the SSA is conducted through traditional U.S. Mail.

Even if your caller ID appears to show that the SSA is calling, do not answer the call. Scam artists can also use technology to make it appear as if the SSA is calling you when, in fact, it is not the SSA. If you are still uncertain, locate the correct telephone number for the SSA yourself and initiate the call from your end. Even better, navigate to the Social Security Administration website an create an online account to view your work records, review notices, estimate retirement benefits, and apply for benefits securely online.

Do You Have Concerns about a Social Security Scam?

For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additions questions or concerns about how to protect seniors from falling victim to Social Security Scams, contact an experienced Indianapolis elder law attorney at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.

The post Protecting Seniors from Social Security AI Scams appeared first on Frank & Kraft, Attorneys at Law.

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By: Paul A. Kraft, Estate Planning Attorney
Title: Protecting Seniors from Social Security AI Scams
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Published Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2024 17:30:00 +0000