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Although most people will receive social security benefits when they are of the legal age to obtain them, there are still several types of fraud that are committed each year pertaining to this benefit. If you are charged with social security fraud, the punishment that you receive can include several years in prison, losing your benefits, and high fines. There are some ways that you can commit this type of fraud that aren’t as obvious as others. You might be able to get away with the act that you’re committing for a few years before you are finally caught and charged. There are a few common ways that you can commit fraud including hiding the fact that you’re working while you’re receiving benefits or getting benefits for a dependant or another person in your home who you’re caring for who isn’t really your child or living in the home. Another common way that people commit fraud is by continuing to receive benefits for someone who has passed away without letting the Social Security Administration know that the person has died. Most of the time, the SSA will receive a notice automatically that the person has died and will stop the payment that is sent out each month so that you don’t have to do anything. There are times when the SSA doesn’t receive the proper documentation and will continue to mail checks. It’s your responsibility to let the agency know that the payments are still being received so that you don’t cash them.
Making false statements when you apply for social security and try to obtain your monthly benefits is a type of fraud that is very common. An example would be stating that you aren’t working and that there is no income in the home when there really is someone working or when you are making money yourself. Another way that you can commit fraud is by hiding facts that would impact your eligibility for social security benefits. One way that you could do this is by not stating that you’re in prison in order for someone at your home to receive benefits.
Sometimes, you might need to help a family member apply for benefits and receive those benefits. This is very common as some people aren’t able to go to the store to get the things that they need or are unable to pay their monthly bills on their own. However, if you use the money for your own benefit or don’t get the things that the person needs, then you can be charged with fraud. Another way that you can be charged is if you manufacture and sell fake social security cards to people who don’t have a legal form of identification. You could also use someone else’s social security card and identification to receive benefits.
If you work for the SSA, you will likely be around personal information all day. If you use this information to obtain benefits for yourself or assist someone in committing fraud, then it can result in charges. You could also steal someone’s check and cash it so that you have the money, spending the benefits that another person could use for their food and essentials. A way to commit fraud that is becoming very common is by impersonating an SSA agent. This would happen if you were to contact someone to get personal information while claiming that you work for the administration. This can be done over the phone or online. All you have to do is contact someone who doesn’t understand the process of talking to the SSA and get the social security number and other details about the person before using it for yourself. If you’re charged with this crime, then you need to seek the assistance of an attorney who can help in determining whether you intentionally committed fraud or if you did so because another person asked you to commit the act.