Social Security scam attempt reported by at least two local citizens

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

Dec 7, 2007 - Senior citizens beware: A scam is currently being perpetrated by someone claiming to represent Social Security officials.

At least two local residents have been contacted, but at this point no one is thought to have fallen victim to the con, according to citizens’ reports.

The way the scam is worked is that someone calls claiming to be with the “Social Security board.” The caller then asks for vital personal data such as bank account information, claiming to need the information for Medicare or Medicaid insurance purposes.

One Sulphur Springs woman was called in the evening earlier this week. They told her they needed her to give them her bank information, specifically the last four numbers of her account as verification for further insurance proceedings. 

The woman told them no. She was already suspicious that someone from the Social Security office would be calling at 8:30 p.m., long after business hours, and advised the caller to just read the information if they already have it. She knew not to give that information out over the phone, that such information would normally be handled by written correspondence, she told the News-Telegram Wednesday afternoon.

The woman called and checked out the claim, which turned out to be bogus. She also alerted police of the scam.

Police have issued a number of cautions warning people not to give out personal information over the phone, especially bank and other personal account information such as numbers, particularly when it’s unsolicited.

Be wary of unsolicited offers, of any  kind, particularly those offering something for nothing. If something doesn’t ring true, get a contact number and information about the caller. Hang up. Verify through a recognized number of source the caller’s identity and purpose for calling, then return the call if warranted.

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