Authorities Warn of Texas SSA Disability Scam
Posted on Oct 10, 2012
One of the latest scams uncovered by authorities apparently targeted residents of Texas who were receiving monthly SSA disability benefit checks. The scam is believed to have affected people in Houston, Port Arthur, Chambers County and the Buna area.
A public forum was held in September 2012, at which the Port Arthur Police Department and the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas informed concerned citizens about this recent disability scam.
According to the forum’s organizers, fraudsters targeted some residents in these areas who were receiving Social Security disability.
It is believed that the perpetrators contacted and met with SSA disability benefit recipients. The residents were informed that they might qualify for additional benefits, such as a stimulus package benefit or an educational credit—even if they were not attending school.
The residents were asked four or five questions, and their answers supposedly were used in deciding whether they were eligible to receive the nonexistent benefits. They were then told that they did, indeed, qualify.
Next, the targeted individuals were asked to provide their names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and banking account information. It is alleged that the fraudsters then promised that an income tax return would be filed on their behalf and that the government would deposit a refund into their bank account.
The fraudsters then actually filed false income tax returns on the victims’ behalf. Some of the victims did receive IRS funds as a result of these filings—and so did the perpetrators.
Officials remind all members of the public, including those receiving SSA disability benefits, never to give personal information to anyone they do not know. By doing so, they could become victims of scams like this one.