Some reasons to be careful

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webmaster | 12/20/12
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One of our readers, a Social Security recipient, reports a scam attempt. Someone calling himself Tim McCrae (240-582-1337 Ext. 135) called her and her husband’s home Tuesday. He said he was with Social Security, and that the Social Security Administration’s computers were down.

The agency would be unable to send them their money this month, he said, unless they could provide him with their Social Security numbers and their bank account numbers, so he could have a check cut right then and get it into the mail.

Fortunately, they didn’t fall for it. They called the sheriff instead, which was the right thing to do.

I called the phone number the caller had given the reader, and was greeted by an answering-machine voice that said, “We are currently unable to take your call. Please leave a message.”

The reader called an actual Social Security employee, who told her, “It sounds like a scam. Social Security doesn’t do business that way.”

A sheriff’s deputy went to the reader’s house to investigate.

If you get a call like that, be sure you don’t fall for the scam. In fact, here’s a good rule: Never ever, ever, ever, ever give out your Social Security or bank account or credit card numbers over the telephone to somebody you don’t know. Never. Ever. You will sleep better. Your identity won’t belong to somebody else. That can be quite a pain.

Last week, a friend of a friend of mine happened to leave her handbag in a grocery store shopping cart in a parking lot. She got as far as the parking lot, carrying the bags of groceries she had bought before she discovered her mistake. She rushed back into the store, and the handbag already was gone from the cart. And it still is gone.

It’s rough out there. Be careful.

 

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