SCAM ALERT: Local consumers being targeted by Social Security scams

The Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana has been flooded with calls lately about scammers posing as a Social Security Office employee, in order to steal their personal information.

In one instance, a local woman contacted your BBB saying she received a call from a person impersonating someone who works for the Social Security Office. The scammer said that the woman’s car had been involved in a possible homicide in Texas, and if the woman didn’t cooperate with them, her social security would be suspended, then she would have no access to her funds. The victim was tricked into giving the scammer her social security number and driver’s license info.

The scammer even convinced the woman to go to the bank and take all the money out of her account, so she would be protected. The scammer was on the phone with the woman the entire time. When the victim got to the bank, and told the teller to transfer all her money out of her account, the teller knew something was suspicious, and put the woman in contact with the bank president who said, “Sweetheart, you’re being hacked.”

The victim tells us she was frightened, “This can not be happening to me.”

The BBB has some tips to avoid falling victim to this scam:

–      It’s OK to be skeptical and ask questions of the caller

–      The Social Security Administration will never call someone and ask for their Social Security Number

–      If that happens, consumers should refuse to give out any personal information and just hang up

–      Don’t trust your caller ID: The internet has made it possible for scammers to use fake IDs when they call you, so it could appear to be a legitimate or local source

–      Contact the Social Security Administration: If you’re concerned about a call from someone claiming to be with the SSA, you can call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

–      Never give personal information to unsolicited callers

–      If you’ve been targeted by this scam go to www.bbb.org/scamtracker

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