Cops warn of two phone scams
State Police and the Social Security Administration are warning of a pair of phone scams.
In the first, State Police said, a caller claims that the recipient’s son has been involved in an accident and in order to keep him out of jail, they must immediately obtain Google pre-paid cards and give them a code.
The caller later requests more money.
It’s a twist on a similar scam run a few years ago where the callers pretended to be the grandson or granddaughter of the person answering the phone, asking for money because they’d been in an accident and didn’t want their parents to know.
“The scammers try to scare you into cooperating; resist the urge to give them money,” Troopers warn.
“If you receive a call like this and can’t make contact with the person who is allegedly injured or in trouble, call 911.”
In the second scam, the caller falsely claims to be a Social Security employee.
Calls can even “spoof” Social Security’s national customer service number with the call showing the SSA’s phone number on caller ID.
The SSA warns people not to provide sensitive information such as their Social Security number or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or internet.
While Social Security employees do contact people—generally those they have ongoing business with—over the phone for businesses purposes, SSA officials suggest that if you get a call you’re not expecting, get the caller’s information, hang up, and call the official phone number of the business or agency the caller claims to represent.
“Do not reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you,” the SSA advises.
Anyone receiving a suspicious call should also report it to the Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline at 1 (800) 269-0271 or online at Oig.sss.gov/report.
“These calls appear to be happening across the country, so we appreciate SSA’s partnership in this national public outreach,” said Gail Ennis, Inspector General for the SSA.
“Our message to the public is simply this: If you or someone you know receives a questionable call claiming to be from SSA or the OIG, hang up.”