AP NEWS

Local woman wants others to know about Social Security impersonation calls

April 11, 2019

HARLINGEN — Longtime local resident Judy Veach receives about 30 to 40 calls on her land line each day.

Most of them are telemarketers, while others are robocalls or spam.

But, one she received last week was a scam and it was scary. She wants those in the area and beyond to know what is happening with these scam calls.

Veach said a legitimate sounding call came in from a person who said they were from the Social Security office and stating Veach was going to receive a significant increase in her Social Security check.

These scams have been going on for years, but it was what the caller said he knew about Veach that was concerning.

“ hey said we have your bank routing number, but they needed my account number,” Veach said.

The person on the other end of the line told Veach to confirm the routing number.

“That was scary,” she said about the caller saying they knew her bank routing number. “It sounded legitimate.”

Veach knows better and wasn’t tricked into saying anything. She didn’t give the caller any information.

However, she is concerned some may be tricked into providing this banking information or other personal information.

She has had many experiences with scammers in the past few years and has learned what to look for when it comes to these types of phone calls.

So, she did not give out any information, hung up and proceeded to call the Social Security office.

That’s when her worries were confirmed, but she also found out she did the right thing.

Although this particular scam as described by Veach is not listed among the popular scams going on, her call to the Social Security office was proof this one and others are going around.

A call to the 800 number of the Social Security Administration office quickly answers the question regarding the widespread nature of this problem.

The recording states the office has received calls from people reporting fraudulent efforts to impersonate SS personnel in an effort to obtain personnel and financial information.

One of the more successful Social Security scams is one that stole more than $10 million and 35,000 people reported the scam in 2018.

The scammer says your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity or involved in a crime. The scammer then attempts to “confirm your SSN to reactivate it.” Sometimes the person will say your bank account is about to be seized, but he will tell you what to do to keep it safe.

Oftentimes, the number these scammers are calling from show the Social Security Administration number, but they are faking that number.

According to the Federal Trade Commission website, the Social Security Administration will never call to threaten benefits or ask a person to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards.

Also, the FTC states never give any part of your Social Security number, bank account or credit card number to anyone who contacts you.

lseiser@valleystar.com