Warning: Social Security Phone Scam Targets Residents

Warning: Social Security Phone Scam Targets Residents title=
Warning: Social Security Phone Scam Targets Residents
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Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has recently received a large number of reports county-wide regarding several different familiar phone scams. The most active scam right now is the Social Security scam and residents have lost thousands of dollars to these con artists. Just this week, a resident lost $11,00 dollars due to this scam.

In the Social Security scheme, the caller claims to be with the Social Security Administration and often provides a name and badge number. The caller claims that the victim’s social security number has been compromised and connected with some criminal activity. In one instance, the victim was told that her social security number was found in a car in Texas, along with some drugs and bloodstains. The caller claims that the victim’s bank account is in danger, and that the victim must quickly go to the bank, take out the money, put it into gift cards

The call usually begins as a recorded phone call that states your social security number has been suspended and you will lose all of your benefits. The recording prompts the receiver of the call to press a number on the telephone to be connected to a live person. Furthermore, if you do not respond they threaten that your social security number will be permanently blocked or your bank accounts will be seized. 

Here are some tips to remember:
• The Social Security Administration will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash or put money on gift cards.
• You do not have to verify your social security number to anyone who initiates a call with you.
• Never give any part of your social security number, bank account information or credit card number to anyone who contacts you.

Remember, a scammer can duplicate the actual phone number of the Social Security Administration by using a special application or computer driven program. If you are worried the call may be a scam hang-up immediately. The best practice is to only give personal identifying information if you initiate the call first and after you have verified the phone number. The real phone number for the Social Security Administration is (800) 772-1213. 

We also continue to see the scam where the caller poses as a Sheriff’s deputy and tells the resident that there is a bench warrant issued for their arrest because they did not show up for jury duty. If you receive any phone call where you are being asked for money or identifying information, you should immediately hang up and call the Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency where the caller claims to be calling from to verify the information. The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind residents that our agency does not call residents over the phone to notify them of a warrant and we do not take any payments of any kind over the phone. 

To report phone scams, call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or CLICK HERE.

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Je2ry6 May 18, 2019 12:26 PM
Warning: Social Security Phone Scam Targets Residents

I received one of the Social Security calls and also have been getting calls from "Microsoft" saying something about my computer being compromised. I get the calls on my land line and the caller ID shows that I am the caller.

Ahlia May 18, 2019 08:43 AM
Warning: Social Security Phone Scam Targets Residents

Thank you for this timely reminder. I got one of these scam calls claiming to be from SSI yesterday. I didn't answer it and then checked the phone number w/the one that SSI lists as their number and it was a different 800 number. Then I immediately deleted the message from my cell phone. ....It makes you wonder how these scammers are able to get an 800 number ???

d8vanilla May 17, 2019 04:03 PM
Warning: Social Security Phone Scam Targets Residents

Yep, I received a recorded message on my cell, from those horrible scammers. They left 15 messaages in one day, even though I blocked their # , they were still able to leave 15 messages !!! And, when I tried calling them back, with the *67 before their phone #, which will make MY # private, it wouldn't go through... !! So, I actually called the #, and when they answered, I SCREAMED as loud as I could, till they hung up. I repeated that a few times, till they wouldn't even answer my calls !!!! It was very fun and satisfying !!!!!!

REX OF SB May 17, 2019 05:43 PM
Warning: Social Security Phone Scam Targets Residents

D8VANILLA: I, too, am a fan of *67, which blocks my number when I call someone, but did you know that it doesn't work when you call an 800, 877, or other toll-free number? It also won't work if you call an emergency service such as the police or fire department. The emergency service bypass I can understand, but I think it's terrible that we can't block our number from being seen when we dial a toll-free number.

d8vanilla May 17, 2019 03:59 PM
Warning: Social Security Phone Scam Targets Residents

1:46pm post - I thought the same thing at first, that it was $11.00 , BUT, it's actually a comma , not a . They just left off one of the zero's.... Proof reading would have been a good thing...

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