Most financial experts agree that making the right decisions regarding an individual’s Social Security benefits can give a sizeable boost to the size of monthly checks during retirement.

But do be aware that there are plenty of scam artists out there lurking—and they are always ready to pounce on an opportunity to get their hands on retirees’ hard-earned cash. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), such cases have been surging ever since the start of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“We continue to see scam artists use the pandemic to steal money and information from honest taxpayers in a time of crisis,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig noted in a statement.

AARP also sounded the alarm that fraudsters are trying to “get their paws on your Social Security number, which they can combine with other personal details they’ve obtained about you to open credit accounts, collect unemployment insurance, circumvent your benefits, commit crimes and unleash a whole lot of misery in your name.”

With this in mind, according to the personal finance site, here are three of the most commonly reported scams.

Phony Calls

Do take note that more scammers these days are directly calling Social Security recipients pretending to be government employees. They often claim that there is a case of identity theft or a pressing issue with one’s Social Security number, account, or benefits. “Fake calls may also sound friendly, however, and may offer to…

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