We get lots of U.S. mail from government offices asking for information or verification of information.
Rarely will you receive a call unexpectedly from a government office without prior knowledge.
One particular scam circulating are phone calls made to unsuspecting victims portraying themselves as a representative from a social security office.
Courtesy of LASD
How this scam works:
You would receive a call from a person pretending to be a representative of a social security office. During the call, the scammer will provide a name and badge number to make the call appear to be legitimate. The caller will tell the unsuspecting victim their social security number was compromised and used in numerous crimes in another state. The scammer will then ask the victim to provide their name, social security number and their date of birth to determine they are not the suspect of the crimes in question. The scammer will also ask how many accounts are open, including credit card accounts.
No money will be asked for, but the fact that personal information has been given this allows the scammers to open fraudulent accounts using your name and personal information. At the end of the call, the scammer may tell you that you have to be at home and available at a specific time because someone from another government office will be contacting you for a follow-up call regarding the current conversation; a call you will never receive.
Most victims won’t realize they were scammed until they get notified by their financial institutions about fraudulent activity.
How would you know which calls are legitimate and which ones are fake?
Here are some helpful tips to look out for to prevent being a victim of this type of scam:
• Never give personal information if you cannot verify if the call is legitimate.
• Ask them to provide your information first. The caller should have it since they called you.
• Tell them to mail you their request. Don’t give them your address - they should already have it.
• If you know you have done nothing wrong, don’t let them intimidate you. They may threaten they will call the police to arrest you.
Don’t be so quick to give personal information. Always verify who you are speaking with - if the call doesn’t seem legitimate, ask them to mail you the information.