Schumer Calls for Social Security Safety Measures

Scammers typically gain the name and bank account number of victims through phony lottery and sweepstakes schemes

Sunday, Oct 14, 2012  |  Updated 1:10 PM EDT
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Schumer Calls for Social Security Safety Measures

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Sen. Charles Schumer says scammers are stealing thousands of senior citizens' social security payments, often with just one phone call.

The Senator on Sunday urged the federal Social Security Administration to take safety measures to curb the fraud.

As of August, the senator says more than 19,000 seniors nationwide have reported identity thefts. That's about 50 each day.

The payments are directly deposited into private bank accounts.

Scammers divert payments by obtaining account information, then making a phone call to reroute the money to their own accounts.

Schumer wants beneficiaries to be notified immediately about any attempted changes to bank account information. The Social Security Inspector General also recommends an automatic notification system.

The federal agency did not immediately return a call for comment.

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