For Immediate Release
Sergeant Anthony Prencipe
There has been an increase in robotic phone scams reported to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office. These scams are also referred to as Robocall scams. These scams attempt to fool people into calling a phone number provided so that miscreants can be provided with information that will allow them access to monetary funds of the victims. The most current Robocall scam revolves around the call receiver’s Social Security number being suspended due to suspicious activity. These types of calls are the most current scam. How to know if you are the recipient of a possible scam:
- You get an unsolicited call from someone claiming to work for SSA. Except in rare circumstances, you will not get a call from Social Security unless you have already been in contact with the agency.
- The caller asks for your Social Security number —again, something an actual SSA employee wouldn’t do.
- A call or email threatens consequences, such as arrest, loss of benefits or suspension of your Social Security number, if you do not provide a payment or personal information.
If you find yourself receiving a phone call that you believe is a scam call here is a list of “Do’s” and “Don’ts”:
Do hang up if someone calls you out of the blue and claims to be from SSA.
Do be skeptical if a caller claims to be an “officer with the Inspector General of Social Security.” Scammers appropriate official-sounding and often actual government titles to make a ruse seem authentic.
Do set up a My Social Security account online and check it on a monthly basis for signs of anything unusual, even if you have not yet started collecting benefits.
Do install a robocall-blocking app on your smartphone, or sign up for a robocall-blocking service from your mobile network provider.
Don’t call a phone number left on your voice mail by a robocaller. If you want to contact SSA, call the customer-service line at 800-772-1213.
Don’t assume a call is legitimate because it appears to come from 800-772-1213. Scammers use “spoofing” technology to trick caller ID.
Don’t give your Social Security number or other personal information to someone who contacts you by email. SSA never requests information that way.
Don’t click links in purported SSA emails without checking them. Mouse over the link to reveal the actual destination address. The main part of the address should end with “.gov/” — including the forward slash. If there’s anything between .gov and the slash, it’s fake.
For more information see the below links regarding these types of scam activity.
Social Security Administration: https://blog.ssa.gov/beware-of-scammers-pretending-to-be-social-security/
Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2018/12/what-social-security-scam-sounds