Scam Social Security calls have made their way to Walla Walla, according to information from Baker Boyer Bank.
The scam, long known by the Federal Trade Commission, is purported to be from a government employee warning recipients that their Social Security numbers have been suspended.
The ruse came to light here when Baker Boyer President and CEO Mark Kajita became the recipient of such a call.
The caller, the FTC warns, feigns protecting recipients from a scam while actually luring people into one.
The voice on the other end of the phone warns recipients that their Social Security numbers have been suspended due to suspicious activity. The caller instructs them to follow directives to learn more information, ultimately tricking people into giving away personal details over the phone or via email.
Social Security numbers, however, do not get suspended, the FTC and Baker Boyer warn.
Those who receive a call should remember a few key guidelines shared about the scam from FTC Consumer Education Specialist Lisa Lake:
- Never give out or confirm personal information over the phone, via email or on a website until you’ve checked out the person, company or organization asking for it.
- Do not trust a name, phone number or email address just because it seems to be connected with the government. Con artists use official-sounding names and may fake caller ID or email address information to make you trust them. Besides, the government normally contacts people by postal mail.
- Contact government agencies directly, using telephone numbers and website addresses you know to be legitimate.