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Contact 6: Alert for those receiving social security checks

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Those on social security had until March 1st to set up a direct deposit account. This is intended to save money and cut down on fraud. FOX6’s Contact 6 has an alert regarding scammers who are using this deadline to trick seniors.

Direct deposit is the easiest way to have your paycheck benefits sent right to your bank account, but two new scams are using this system to target seniors.

The Better Business Bureau says Medicare recipients are getting calls, being told Medicare funds can only be sent using direct deposit. Callers then ask for banking information to set up the direct deposit.

Contact 6 says: don’t do it! Providing that information can lead to scammers draining your bank account.

“It’s a play on a scam that’s been going on for a while, and I just think with the changes in the health care laws it’s very confusing and senior citizens tend to believe callers who contact them,” Liz Fredrichs with the Wisconsin BBB said.

In a twist on this scam, the caller may also ask for a Medicare number. However, a Medicare number is the same as a social security number. Give that out and you’re giving someone serious access to your identity!

Beginning March 1st, federal law requires those getting social security checks to switch over to direct deposit. Individuals are encouraged to visit the bank or credit union to do so.

The Social Security Administration says they will never call for that information.

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