Consumers should be on alert for people calling and claiming to be government officials. Arkansans are reporting receiving calls from someone claiming to be with the Social Security Administration and requesting Social Security numbers and bank account information, according to a news release from Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office.


The Attorney General’s Office has previously received complaints of callers claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service and even the Attorney General’s Office.


“The government will never call consumers requesting financial information,” Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said. “If the caller is requesting personal or financial information and claiming to be a government agency, hang up, find the phone number from an official source and call the agency directly. It is important for Arkansans to know who they are talking to at the other end of the phone line.”


Rutledge and the Federal Trade Commission released the following tips for Arkansans who may be dealing with a government imposter:


• Never give out or confirm sensitive information, such as bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers, unless the caller is trusted and his/her identity has been confirmed.


• Be cautious of callers using organization names similar to existing agencies. Scammers use internet technology to spoof area codes, so although it may seem the call is from Washington, D.C., it could originate from anywhere in the world.


• The Social Security Administration and other government agencies have warned about these scams and suggest contacting the agency directly.


The Social Security Administration can be contacted at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller. To report this scam to the Social Security Administration, contact its Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.


For more information about other common scams and consumer-related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.