LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Federal investigators say the scam generating more complaints than any other right now, is the social security scam.
The BBB of Southwest Louisiana is still receiving dozens of reports from consumers who stated the Social Security Administration is calling them regarding an issue with their Social Security number.
The scam isn’t just a hassle for the consumer, but for bank tellers as well. Garland Prejean, a security officer with CSE Federal Credit Union said he’s seen scam victims come into the bank on the phone with scammers who want their money.
“We see this 2 or 3 times a week. A lot of the scammers they want to do something really fast. You’ve got to do it today, you’ve got to do it right now," said Prejean. "There’s no sense in getting that that fast, so we will refuse a transaction and say we don’t think this is in your best interest.”
Prejean said the uptick in this crime has resulted in a more detailed approach for the common banker.
“It’s really like chasing a ghost because these people don’t live in this country. They could be in a foreign country, either Eastern Europe or Africa or maybe even right next door.”..So we try to do a great job of educating our staff on what we can do to stop this from happening."
How the Scam Works:
You receive a robocall allegedly from the Social Security Administration. Some calls state "HELLO we have been trying to reach you this call is officially a final notice from S.S.A. Social Security Administration this call is to inform you that we have got an order to suspend your socials on immediate basis because we have found suspicious and fraudulent activities on your social to get more information about this case file please call immediately." The robocall leaves a number for you to call. DO NOT CALL this number back. This is the just the latest version of a government imposter scam which tries to scare people into giving away personal information.
How to Avoid this Scam and other Government Imposter Scams:
· Never give out your personal information over the phone, email, or any website until you have verified the person asking for it.
· Do not trust your caller ID or email. Many scammers "spoof" emails and phone numbers to make you trust them.
· Government agencies DO NOT call unsolicited; rather, they send letters if they need to contact a citizen.
· Contact the government agency using a number or website you know to be correct. SSA has stated that you can contact them if you receive a call from someone who claims to be an SSA employee at 1-800-772-1213 to verify.
If someone has tried to steal your personal information by pretending to be from a government agency, report to the FTC. You can also report scams to BBB, go to bbb.org/scamtracker.