SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – Authorities in Salem are urging residents to be mindful of a scam that’s plaguing the area involving a caller reporting that your Social Security Number has been compromised.
The Salem Sheriff’s Office says that the scammers are pretending they are with the government and claiming the victim’s identity has been stolen or that there is a problem with their Social Security Number, account, or benefits.
The sheriff’s office has been notified that victims have reportedly been threatened with legal action or told that the scammers can either increase benefits, protect assets, or resolve identity theft. Then, the victims are told pay that if they pay the scammers with a gift card, wire transfer, or another form of payment, the scammers can offer protection.
Authorities say that, in some cases, the Social Security Administration may call you in some situations. However, there are several things that they will never do, including the following:
- Suspend your Social Security Number
- Demand immediate payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, internet currency or wire transfer
- Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash
There are ways that you can protect yourself in cases like this. If you receive a call that you believe to be a scam, you should hang up the phone and report the call to the Office of the Inspector General by calling 1-800-269-0271 or report the incident online by clicking here.
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