Q: I have been warned that there are scammers trying to use my Social Security disability information to steal my identity. How do I know I can trust a lawyer with this information?
What you have heard is true. There are professional criminals who contact Pennsylvania Social Security disability recipients (and people getting Social Security retirement benefits, too) in order to take advantage of them. Often, these con artists seem to be very pleasant, compassionate people. They adopt a helpful attitude and share stories about their own (fictional) parents’ struggles with disabilities.
They gain their victims’ trust. But once they find out the Social Security number, bank account numbers, and other personal information they were seeking, they vanish. Sometimes their targets don’t even realize they were victimized until weeks or months have passed, when they find their checking or savings accounts drained or their monthly benefits redirected to someone else.
Three Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Worry
We know many people can be reluctant to contact a lawyer because they fear they will be taken advantage this way. This fear can prevent them from seeking Social Security disability benefits that would make a tremendously positive improvement in their lives. However, there are some important reasons why you may be worrying too much about identity theft when contacting a Pennsylvania Social Security disability attorney:
- Most scams prey upon people who are already receiving benefits. After all, a crook can only steal from someone who already has money, right? If you are thinking about asking a lawyer to help you get benefits, then you’re not a likely target for an identity theft scheme.
- Scammers choose their victims carefully—and then THEY contact YOU. The con artist always starts off knowing at least something about his potential target, and a key part of his technique is to offer you a deal that seems too good to be true. He always contacts you privately, and maybe even secretly, with a warning not to share this information with other people. In contrast, you would be contacting a lawyer openly, not secretly. Your lawyer wouldn’t have studied you carefully in advance; until you make the first phone call, he would not know anything about your case! The attorney would be bound by law to keep everything confidential, but you could talk freely to family members and friends whose advice you trust.
- Lawyers come with extensive references. All you ever know about Social Security scammers is whatever they tell you on the phone or online. There is no way to check on up their honesty. Lawyers have well-documented references. They have offices and a history in your community. Your prospective attorney should be able to show you testimonials from previous clients and a list of his educational and professional references. The upshot: you have no reason to believe anything the scammer tells you, and every reason to have confidence in your lawyer.
Choosing a Pennsylvania Disability Lawyer You Can Trust
Of course, finding the disability benefits attorney who is the best fit for you and your case is a complicated topic that we’ll have to reserve for another time. Although you may choose any lawyer to represent your interests when dealing with the Social Security Administration, you would probably prefer to select one with a strong background in Social Security disability claims.
At Schmidt Kramer, we are justifiably proud of our Harrisburg Social Security disability lawyers’ achievements in successfully resolving clients’ claims for benefits. We follow all ethical requirements for client advocates in Pennsylvania, including tight security on our clients’ personal information. Contact us by phone at (717) 888-8888 to schedule a free, confidential consultation or to request a free copy of our client newsletter.