Alarm bells are ringing for law enforcement agencies as a new Social Security scam makes the rounds as opportunistic fraudsters seek to exploit the elderly.
New York police departments have issued a warning after receiving multiple reports of scammers posing as Social Security Administration (SSA) employees over the phone and asking for personal information or money.
Police said some of the impostors made threats or demanded immediate payment to help their victims avoid arrest or possible legal action.
Officials noted that SSA employees will never threaten anyone for information, or promise a reward or solution in exchange for personal information or cash, and the calls appear to be legitimate because some fraudsters will “spoof” official government numbers.
Impostors can use legitimate names or phone numbers, officials warned, and no government agency will ever insist that anyone pay with a gift card.
According to the police, in case of a suspicious phone call, one should:
- Hang up;
- Don’t give them money or personal information;
- Report the scam to the local police.
“Someone can ask you to pay for something by putting money on a gift card, such as a Google Play or iTunes card, and then giving them the numbers on the back of the card,” officials noted.
“If they ask you to do this, they are trying to scam you. No real company or government agency will ever insist that you pay them with a gift card. Anyone who demands to be paid with a gift card is a scammer.”
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