Alarm bells are sounding for law enforcement agencies as a new Social Security scam continues making the rounds as opportunistic fraudsters look to exploit the elderly.
An alert was issued by police agencies in New York after they received multiple reports of scammers impersonating Social Security Administration (SSA) employees over the phone requesting personal information or money.
Police said that some of the imposters have made threats or demanded immediate payment to help their victims avoid arrest or potential legal action.
Officials noted that SSA employees will never threaten anyone for information, or promise a reward or resolution in exchange for personal information or cash, and the calls appear to be legitimate as some fraudsters will “spoof” official government numbers.
Imposters may use legitimate names or phone numbers, officials cautioned, and no government agency will ever insist that one pay with a gift card.
According to police, if a suspicious call is received, one should:
- Hang up;
- Not give them money or personal information;
- Report the scam to local police.
“Someone might ask you to pay for something by putting money on a gift card, like 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’re trying to scam you. No real business or government agency will ever insist you pay them with a gift card. Anyone who demands to be paid with a gift card is a scammer.”
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