This was brought to our attention last evening by an individual who recently lost her husband. We had given the family instructions on how to contact Social Security in order to arrange for benefit adjustment and claim the $255.00 death benefit. We provided the proper phone numbers to call or a visit can be made to the Social Security office in South Bend. They did so within days of the death. However last evening the widow received a call from a friendly and courteous gentleman who identified himself with the Social Security Administration and was assigned to her in order to assist in gaining an additional $600.00 per month in benefits. He would be asking a series of questions that eventually led to credit card information and purchasing habits. Feeling suspect at this point but being re-assured by the caller that all information was needed to assist in the adjustment, the call soon concluded but it was too late. IDENTIY THEFT CAN OCCUR JUST THAT EASY.
Fortunately she reacted quickly and immediately called her credit card company who then sealed her account and were helpful in setting up a new account. She then called the funeral home to see if this was common practice of the Social Security Administration. IT IS NOT!
Social Security will only call you if you have set an appointed time for them to call, set by you and only by calling a number below.
To contact Social Security use only the following numbers – even to return a call from a caller. You will be in their system if they have placed a call to you and any representative can continue the call.
Local (South Bend) 1-877-274-5415
National Toll Free 1-800-772-1213
Hearing impaired 1-574-251-3465
Social Security Administration 602 South Michigan St., South Bend, Indiana
By Randy Danielson Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home