SSA Inspector General Warns Public about Phone Scheme Targeting Senior Citizens
August 02, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2012
Contact: (410) 965-2671
Patrick P. O’Carroll, Jr., Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA), is warning citizens about a phone scheme that has recently surfaced in California. The SSA Regional Office in San Francisco has received reports of calls made to senior citizens seeking Social Security and financial account information.
Inspector General O’Carroll urges all citizens to take precautions when giving out personal information. “You should never provide your Social Security number, bank account numbers, or other personal information unless you are extremely confident to whom you are providing the information. Social Security representatives generally will not make unsolicited calls and request personal information.”
According to SSA, a 93-year-old woman received a call from an unknown person informing her of a project that involved changing a participant’s Social Security number. Another caller told an elderly couple that they were going to receive new Medicare cards, and asked to “verify” the couple’s bank account information.
There are many variations of this type of scheme, which could lead to bank fraud or identity theft. For more information on identity theft, please click here, or contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/idtheft or 1-877-ID-THEFT.
Individuals may report suspicious activity involving Social Security programs and operations to the Social Security Fraud Hotline at http://oig.ssa.gov/report-fraud-waste-or-abuse, or by phone at 1-800-269-0271. (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call OIG’s TTY number at 1-866-501-2101.)
For more information, please contact the OIG's Office of External Relations, at (410) 965-2671.