Beware of bogus calls claiming to be from Social Security

Posted 8/11/20

A wave of fraudulent phone calls swept through Park County on Thursday, as residents with local phone numbers received automated messages claiming to be from the Social Security Administration.

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Beware of bogus calls claiming to be from Social Security

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A wave of fraudulent phone calls swept through Park County on Thursday, as residents with local phone numbers received automated messages claiming to be from the Social Security Administration.

In the bogus calls, the messages falsely claimed that they’d received a “legal complaint” involving the resident’s Social Security number. Listeners were then told to speak with a person by pressing one or calling a certain phone number “before we go ahead legally blocking your Social Security number.” Presumably, citizens would then be pressed to give up personal or financial information that the scammers could use.

The message closed with, “Thank you and have blessed day.”

Beyond the poor English, the calls could be spotted as a scam because, as the Social Security Administration notes, its employees “will never threaten you for information or promise benefits in exchange for information.”

People who believe they’ve been contacted by a Social Security scammer can call the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

The scam is just one type of many telephone schemes that continue to circulate around the country. For instance, some scammers have been posing as COVID-19 contact tracers.

As general guidelines, the federal government recommends hanging up on suspicious calls, to be cautious of caller ID (because scammers can manipulate the information that shows up), refusing to provide credit card numbers, bank account or other personal information to callers and to not send money if a caller asks you to wire money or pay with a prepaid debit card or gift card.

— By CJ Baker

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