Social Security Phone Scam, Fraud Awareness Seminar
Complaints about government imposter scams—particularly social security phone scams—are skyrocketing, reaching a record high this year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
These imposters tell many lies, and the goal is to steal your money and/or personal information. These are just a few of the scams you might hear:
- “We’re calling from the Social Security Administration because your account has been frozen or compromised.”
- “This is the IRS calling and you owe us back taxes and are about to be sued or immediately arrested.”
- “I’m with the FBI or your local police department and an arrest warrant has been issued because you failed to appear in court for jury duty.”
Government agencies, including the Social Security Administration, IRS and Medicare, don’t first make contact over the phone. If there’s a problem with your account, they will contact you by U.S. mail. Likewise, they will never call and threaten you with a lawsuit or arrest if you don’t make an immediate payment. Also, government agencies will never instruct you to make an immediate payment via wire transfer or gift card.
RESOURCES FOR RECOGNIZING SCAMS AND REPORTING FRAUD
AARP Fraud Watch Network
- Call 877-908-3360 to talk to a trained volunteer on the Fraud Watch Helpline.
California Attorney General’s Office
- Learn about common scams and other consumer issues.
Federal Trade Commission
- File a consumer complaint, report identity theft and register for the Do Not Call list.
Social Security Office of Inspector General Hotline
- 1-800-269-0271 (TTY 1-866-501-2101)
TIPS FOR AVOIDING FRAUD
- Tell the caller you do not do business over the phone. If something feels off, it probably is. Hang up immediately.
- Never give personal information to an unknown caller or allow them access to your computer over the internet. Instead, hang up and call your bank directly to find out if the call was legitimate.
- If someone calls and claims to be with a government agency, no matter how official they seem, no matter how scary the situation sounds—hang up. The longer you stay on the line, the more likely you are to become a victim.
- Don’t trust a caller just because they know some of your personal information. Due to numerous data breaches, many fraudsters are providing victims with their SSN to build trust.
- Contact the agency that supposedly called you. Look up the number on your own—don’t trust your caller ID or the number the caller may have given you.
FRAUD AWARENESS SEMINAR AT CITY HALL
Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from being the next victim. On Thursday, August 22, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the City of Laguna Woods City Hall at 25264 El Toro Road, attend an informative fraud workshop and learn about the latest scams and fraud crimes. RSVP to 949-639-0500.
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