Yolo County DA urges residents not to fall for Social Security telephone scams

The Yolo County District Attorney’s office advised residents to be wary of the rising threat of telephone scams fraudulently requesting personal information over the phone.

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The Yolo County District Attorney’s office advised residents to be wary of the rising threat of telephone scams fraudulently requesting personal information over the phone. Con artists posing as employees of the Social Security Administration claim the call recipient’s social security card number has been suspended due to suspicious activity and scare them into sharing personal information. In some cases, the recipient will first hear a recording with a robotic voice prompting them to press one to speak with someone pretending to be a representative of the department. “Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized,” the statement said. No one should ever give out personal information over the phone to someone who contacts them, and the SSA will never threaten benefits or request cash, wire transfers, or money on gifts cards. Scammers use technology to trick caller IDs, so even if a call registers as being from the SSA, it may still be a con artist. John Ehrk, Chief Investigator for the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, said these scams often originate outside of the country and the window to track them down is short. When receiving a seemingly official but unsolicited call, Ehrk recommends independently obtaining a business phone number from a reliable source and calling to verify. “If there is any doubt whatsoever about the legitimacy of the caller do not provide any personal information at all,” Ehrk said. “Most legitimate businesses won’t ask for personal information over the phone and should be understanding of reasonable precautions against fraud. Do not allow the caller to convince you, against your better judgement, to provide personal information through intimidation or shaming as these are common tactics used by criminals, not legitimate business.  If you think something is not right, you are probably correct.” According to District Attorney Reisig, “The complexity and frequency of these types of scams has been increasing dramatically over the last several months. Nobody is immune from being targeted by these persistent crooks. The best defense against becoming a victim of scams such as this is knowledge and vigilance.” Suspicious phone calls should be reported to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Fraud Hotline at 855-4-YOLO-DA, at www.yoloda.org/fraud.htm or by email to Fraud@yoloda.org, or a local law enforcement agency in case of emergency.]]>

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