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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , spoofed calls   

    Alarming new twist on grandparent scam emerges 

    Alarming new twist on grandparent scam emerges

    We’ve discussed the grandparent scam before. It’s when a scammer will call an elderly person claiming to be one of their grandchildren who has been arrested and needs bail money. The victim then will wire the money before realizing that their grandchild is safe and had not been arrested. Scammers often target the elderly in this scam because they count on their victims being more trusting, more willing to answer a call from an unfamiliar number, and not being as tech-savvy as younger segments of the population. Now, there’s been a new twist on the grandparent scam that makes the phony calls seem even more legitimate than before.

    People across the state of Missouri have been reporting that they’ve been receiving calls that appear like they’re coming from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The calls appear on the victim’s phone as either ‘US Government’ or ‘US District Court’. The caller then poses as a grandchild asking for money to help get them out of jail. Phone numbers purporting to be from agencies like this can be easily spoofed, however, these spoofed numbers add a degree of pressure and urgency in order to try to get the victim to send money as quickly as possible.

    Advocacy groups like the AARP recommend asking the caller something that only they would know. While this can go a long way in preventing fraud it’s not infallible as scammers can gather these details from social media. Instead, if you receive one of these calls you should above all else remain calm. If you can’t discern if this is actually one of your grandchildren calling, call someone in your family who would know the whereabouts of the relative in question and ask where this person currently is. This way if it does turn out to be an actual emergency you can respond in an appropriate manner.

     
  • Geebo 9:15 am on November 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , spoofed calls   

    Be careful of the Social Security spoofing scam 

    Be careful of the Social Security spoofing scam

    With just about everyone owning a smartphone today we’ve all experienced a spoofed call. Normally these calls disguise themselves as being from a local number. Fearing it may be a neighbor or loved one in distress we answer the call only to find out it’s either a robocall or a telemarketer that’s not even from your local area. A scam that uses the spoofing method of disguising a phone number is targeting the elderly.

    According to the Social Security Administration, scammers are not just posing as Social Security employees but they’re also disguising their phone number to make it look like their calling from the national Social Security office. The number that appears on a phone’s caller ID is 1-800-772-1213 which is the national customer service number for Social Security. If someone were to answer the call the scammer would more than likely promise to increase the victim’s Social Security benefit if they could just get more information from the victim. The caller may even start to get belligerent if you don’t provide them with the information they’re looking for. Of course, this is all designed to gather your personal information to either sell your personal information to the highest bidder or use it to steal your identity.

    In the rare instances that Social Security will call one of its recipients, they will never promise to increase your benefits nor will they threaten you. Even if you think the call is legitimate, hang up, and call the SSA back by manually dialing the customer service number listed above. The SSA also recommends that if you receive one of these calls to report it to the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or on their website.

     
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