By Paul Richardson
Posing as Social Security agents, the latest 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, said Gale Stallworth Stone, Social Security’s Acting Inspector General.
Though data on the number of seniors taken in this scheme is not known, Stone noted in a consumer advisory that the agency was receiving calls from all over the country complaining about the scam.
If you receive a call such as this, hang up. Do not give out any private information.
Another scam making rounds is fake kidnappings.
he target receives a text or e-mail saying a family member has been abducted and demands a ransom. In some cases, a severed finger is pictured to make the story more believable.
Then the caller demands a huge sum of money be wired to a drop point.
Again, the whole thing is a scam so do not send any money.
Instead, call the FBI.
If you have caller ID, make a note of the caller’s number for authorities and the drop off location.
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