NAPLES, Fla. – We have all received the calls before; someone who claims to be from the IRS or the Social Security Administration. While they put on a show they are actually scammers trying to scam you with your hard earned money.
Their latest trick almost worked for a woman from Naples. The scammers on the other end of the line told her that someone was using her information to open bank accounts, and that she had to download an app to access her phone.
“I actually find that a bit scary,” says CyberSecurity expert Dennis Underwood. “With the phone, they get full access to all passwords, all accounts.”
Underwood has heard the story hundreds of times, but remote access to a victim’s phone is a new twist.
“We have so much on our phones these days, and it’s all interconnected,” Underwood said.
But that’s not all that happened. Then they asked her to move all the money from her bank account to Bitcoin. She did, but just before she was about to hit submit, a fraud alert appeared warning her of the dangers of what she was about to do.
“If they had already flagged that destination account as fraudulent or suspicious and issued a warning to Grandma,” Underwood said.
These Social Security scams are more common today than ever. So much so that the FTC issued a warning notice.
“This is happening in your community,” said Monica Vaca, Associate Director of the FTC’s Consumer Response and Operation Division. “What these scammers are trying to do is they are trying to induce a state of fear. They try to make you very panicky.”
If you have received one of these calls, you can report it to the FTC by clicking here.