GREENSBORO, N.C. — Schemers are up to their old tricks, and consumers are getting more and more fed up, asking us to VERIFY to get the word out. The latest sham involves social security.
Good Morning Show viewer Joanna Mendoza reached out, saying she had been contacted by a woman claiming to represent the Social Security Administration. The so-called agent claimed Mendoza was supposed to receive $50,000, if she sent $250 in Walmart gift cards "to cover taxes and shipping fees."
Mendoza explained, "She said I would receive $50,000 cash delivered by UPS! Who sends that much cash by UPS?"
So, when Mendoza asked the so-called agent for verification, the woman sent her "proof of identity." She shared an ID with the name Rebecca Smith. It appears to be a Facebook ID with the real Facebook address, 1 Hacker Way (yes, that part is real). But, the card's other address in DC does not exist, per Google maps. And, both the picture and certain words like "GRANT" appear to be superimposed on the ID (notice the poor alignment and different font sizes).
The Social Security Administration says occasionally, employees will contact people by telephone for customer service purposes. But, only in a few situations, like when a customer has business pending, will an employee request the customer to confirm personal information over the phone. The employee will never threaten the customer or promise a social security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information. Hang up immediately and call the Social Security Administration directly.
The Federal Trade Commission emphasizes no government agency will ask for money on gift cards or wire transfers. Government agencies also do not call without warning, so if a call seems "out of the blue," hang up.
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