Government officials are warning about a rash of cons targeting Social Security beneficiaries.
In one case, posing as agents for Social Security, the con tries to trick seniors into "verifying" private information -- including Social Security numbers, birth dates and parents' names -- purportedly to provide the senior with a cost-of-living increase in their benefits.
If the senior provides all the requested information, the scammer uses it to contact the real Social Security Administration in an effort to change the person's direct deposit information and steal benefit checks.
Another case starts with a recorded phone call warning seniors about a problem with their benefit checks.
If the seniors call the number listed on the recording, they'll be told that a warrant has been issued for the victim's arrest and that the only way to solve the problem is by buying hundreds of dollars' worth of prepaid debit cards "to resolve the warrant."
This scheme targets unsuspecting persons and uses scare tactics to defraud them of their resources."If an unknown person pressures you on the phone into providing payments or making purchases for odd reasons, don't think twice about hanging up.
Be suspicious of any caller who purports to be from a government agency.
If you think the Social Security Administration might have reason to contact you, hang up and call the agency back at their listed local number or their toll-free headquarters number at 800-772-1213.
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Perry L. Anderson
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