Beyond the headlines about Social Security cost-of-living adjustments and changes in leadership, there is an ongoing need to warn anyone with a Social Security number to be alert to identify theft. Stealing someone’s Social Security number is a gateway to financial fraud.

Be alert to these maneuvers.

Scammers are using a telephone call, text message or email in an attempt “to convince the recipient that they need to provide Social Security numbers, bank account or credit card information or passwords.” This is one of the categories highlighted in the IRS’s list of “Dirty Dozen” scams this year (

We need to “be alert for a continuing surge of fake emails, text messages, websites and social media attempts to steal personal information,” warns the IRS.

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