SLATE CREEK – Susie Bradley of Slate Creek wasn’t on the phone long with this caller.
“They told me my Social Security number was being used illegally,” she said of the automated call (caller ID listed it from Long Island, NY), and that they wanted to help her resolve the issue. “Right then I said, ‘No!’ so they said that if I wanted to talk with an agent, press one.”
“I hung up,” she said.
Bradley then contacted the Social Security Administration (SSA) to report the incident, followed by contacting the Free Press to publicize the scam attempt to warn others.
“There are some older folks out there who might fall for this,” she said.
And then someone tried again the following week. Same thing: a records call, stating Bradley’s number was being used illegally, “this will be a big problem if you don’t talk to us,” and, she said, “Saying stuff that would scare seniors.”
According to SSA, the agency will never call a citizen to ask for personal or financial information over the phone, demand an immediate payment, demand a debt to be paid without the ability to appeal the amount owed, or threaten arrest or deportation. If confronted by a SSA impersonation, the citizen should hang up and contact the federal agency at https://oig.ssa.gov/report, 1-800-772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov.
With the scams out there, and how callers can sound legitimate or fluster someone to provide personal information, Bradley wanted to get her story out as a public service.
“I just want to warn everybody: Don’t fall for it!” she said.