The FBI and Better Business Bureau recently released a warning about a new insidious scam that family members should beware of. Scammers call innocent victims, pretend to be from the FBI or Social Security Administration, and attempt to access personal information (such as Social Security numbers).
How the Social Security Scams are Changing
Social Security scams have been around for years, so scammers continue to change their approach. In the past, scammers told victims they were employees from the Social Security office and needed to discuss the person’s account.
These newest scams involve a fake FBI investigation. Victims are told that their Social Security numbers are suspended or frozen. This message is scary and intimidating. It can often result in the victim paying money to “release” their Social Security number. The thought of being investigated by the FBI is chilling. Victims often act irrationally because of the stress of the situation.
Warning Loved Ones about Social Security Scams
These scams typically start with a phone call generated by the scammer. The conversation begins with the scammer giving the victim a fake name (using a roster from Social Security agents from a local office). Then, they explain to the victim that the investigation is ongoing and that the person is at risk of losing their retirement or house.
This phone call can cause innocent people to panic. Fearful that the FBI is coming after them, they hand over their banking information or money to solve the problem. The scammers are so convincing that many people assume they will be arrested if they don’t pay up.
These types of scams have skyrocketed in the last year. Because of pandemic lockdowns, scammers aren’t spending time going door-to-door. They are leveraging phone calls and emails more to connect with potential victims.
Information to Protect Your Loved Ones
If you need information about common scams, Senior Safe and Sound is here to help. We offer ongoing support to help you protect yourself and your loved ones. Feel free to reach out any time at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.