Scam calls on the rise, locals warned to be vigilant


An increase in fraudulent phone calls from scammers claiming to represent the Social Security Administration has become a problem in the U.S. and South Dakota.
“In them, unknown callers are using threatening language to warn unknowing victims that they will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number or press the number indicated in the message to address the issue,” said Acting Deputy Associate Commissioner of the SSA’s  strategic digital communications office, Dawn Bystry. “In some instances, these unknown callers switch tactics and communicate that they want to help an individual with activating a suspended Social Security number. Such calls are a scam, and are not coming from official SSA representatives.”
If contacted, local residents are encouraged not to engage with the callers, but to instead report suspicious calls to the Social Security’s Office of Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/report or by calling 1-800-269-0271.
“Recent reports have indicated that unknown callers are using increasingly threatening language in these calls,” wrote Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director. “SSA employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information.  In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up.”


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