Social Security Scam Circulates Lee County

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be on guard for telephone calls coming from scam artists pretending to be with the Social Security Administration in an attempt to trick them into giving up their personal information and cash.

The warning comes after dozens of complaints were called into the Sheriff’s Office fraud line from concerned citizens.

There are several variations of this scheme that you need to be aware of:

1). The con-artist tells would-be victims their social security number was used to commit a crime. To avoid arrest, they must pay a fine.

2). The con-artist tells would-be victims their social security number was compromised and in order to reactivate their social security number or get a new one, they must send cash.

3). The con-artist tells would-be victims their bank accounts have been seized and if they don’t transfer money to the caller for safekeeping, they will lose their social security benefits.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno reminds you to stay vigilant of impersonation scams. You must always remember that you are in control and you should never be afraid to simply hang up the phone.

To prevent being victimized please follow these safety tips:

  • Never give your Social Security number to someone you do not know. Not even the last 4 digits.
  • Never give your bank account information or credit card number to someone you do not know.
  • Do not be fooled by caller ID showing the Social Security Administration’s real phone number   (1-800-772-1213). Computers make it easy for scam artists to show any number on caller ID, a technique called spoofing.
  • Never send money via Bitcoin, wire transfer, gift card or cash to someone you do not know.

To report Social Security impersonation scams, contact the Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/report. You can also contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office fraud line at 258-3292.