MAYS LANDING- ACPO Chief of County Investigators Bruce DeShields would like to warn the public about scam calls involving Social Security after he recently received a scam phone call.
On Monday, Chief DeShields received a scam call message and a recorded voice stated that it was an Officer with Social Security and that Chief DeShields needed to contact them in reference to his account and if he did not, then enforcement action would be taken against him. The message supplied Chief DeShields with a reference number to use when calling.
“I was then given the option to push button one to speak with an officer. After pushing button 1 a live person came on the phone and he asked for my reference number. I told him I did not write the number down. He then asked for my information. I in turn asked him for his name. He told me his name was Officer Leo Starr. I asked him where he was based out of and he said El Paso Texas. I asked him for a contact number and he supplied me with an 866-number. I then stated to him that Social Security puts out information and they only make contact by mail and do not call,” Chief DeShields said.
The man then told Chief DeShields that it is an enforcement investigation, pertaining to his Social Security account.
According to the Social Security Administration website, if there is a problem, Social Security will mail you a letter. Generally, Social Security will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with the Administration. The latest scam trick of using robocalls or live callers has increased. Fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account, or benefits.
“I asked him for the name of his supervisor and he asked me why. I told him that if he is a real officer he would have a supervisor, but he could not supply me with a name. I told him I was a Law Enforcement Officer and that this was a fraudulent call and that I was going to report him. He hung up,” Chief DeShields said.
Scammers may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets, or resolve identity theft. They often demand payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency, or mailing cash.
“This was a very elaborate call and set up. We want to warn the public of such scams and not to give personal information or send anyone money that they are not familiar with. The public needs to remember that Social Security only makes contact by mail, they do not make phone calls,” Chief De Shields said.
The public should look out for:
· A caller saying there is a problem with your Social Security number or account.
· Any call asking you to pay a fine or debt with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
· Scammers pretending they’re from Social Security or another government agency. Caller ID or documents sent by email may look official but they are not.
Learn more at oig.ssa.gov/scam.
Share this information with friends and family.
Learn more about fraud prevention and reporting at https://www.ssa.gov/antifraudfacts/.