Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a Scam Alert this week to warn Kentuckians of a new phone scam where con artists claim to be federal Social Security Administration agents calling to notify you that your Social Security number has been stolen.
Beshear said in a news release his office received a report of the scam after a caller tricked a Jefferson County victim into disclosing her Social Security number and paying a fee to receive a new Social Security number and card.
Beshear said the fake federal agent demanded a payment via a stored-value card and the Louisville resident lost $600 to the scam.
“I urge all Kentuckians to hang up on any caller who asks for your Social Security number,” Beshear said in the news release. “Never provide your Social Security number or other sensitive information, like your bank account or credit card number, over the phone — unless you are confident who you are talking with.”
Beshear’s Office of Senior Protection and Mediation is asking Kentuckians to follow these tips to avoid government imposter scams.
Verify information with the legitimate government organization. If you get a call from a government official, confirm you are speaking with a legitimate employee by actually hanging up and calling the official number.
Don’t trust a cold caller. Con artists use official sounding names to make you trust them. To make their call seem legitimate, scammers use internet technology to spoof their area code to make it look like they are calling from Washington, DC, but could be calling from anywhere in the world.
Don’t use untraceable methods of payment. If you are asked to make a payment using wire transfer, gift cards or cash it is most likely a scam.
To report scams to the Social Security Administration’s Fraud hotline dial 1-800-269-0271.