Ads Selling Social Security Information May Mislead
Byline: William Schultz Elgin Social Security Field Office Manager
Social Security is issuing a general alert to area residents about misleading ads that purport to sell Social Security information.
This same information is free from the Social Security office, and it will be accurate.
The elderly are often targeted by misleading ads. But the ads also target new brides, new parents and people of all ages.
Typical scams are those using "official" letterhead stationery offering to provide a replacement for a lost or stolen Social Security card, have a name changed on a Social Security record or get a Social Security number for a child for a fee.
These services not only are free from Social Security, but they generally can be obtained just as easily as they can from the advertiser.
Individuals or groups who purposefully mislead the public about Social Security or Medicare services are subject to strong penalties under current legislation.
The law makes such misrepresentations more difficult to carry out and increases fines that can be imposed.
The Social Security administration responds to consumer complaints and inquiries from Congress about mail received by the general public that appears to be misleading advertising. …