The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office has seen an increase in complaints where scammers are pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and threaten consumers into providing personal information or asking for money.
“It’s time to reinforce an important fact: the government will never call consumers requesting financial information,” Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a news release. “If you receive a call claiming to be from the government, requesting personal or financial information, immediately hang up the phone. Let my office do the fighting for you by reporting these illegal calls.”
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, to an unsolicited caller.
• 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 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 800-269-0271, or file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
If someone has provided their Social Security number to a scammer, they should visit www.identitytheft.gov/SSA to find out what steps they can take to protect their identity.
For deails about other common scams and consumer-related issues, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982.