By Nona Tepper
A Forest Park resident recently received a call from someone purporting to be from the "Social Security Administration," according to Mike Keating, deputy police chief.
The caller told the man they were suspending his Social Security account and were going to file criminal charges against him. The number started with area code 469, but it can come from anywhere.
There are two types of scams going around this week, according to the Social Security Administration and Office of the Inspector General. In the first, an individual gets a phone call with an automated recording saying his Social Security number "has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity." The fraudster then provides a phone number and says the person must call to fix the problem or else the person's assets will be frozen. Anyone who does call the number is asked to provide personal information the scammer can then use to commit identity theft or other fraud.
In the other scam, the caller pretends to work for Social Security and asks the person to verify their personal information, including their Social Security number, date of birth and address.
"The [Social Security Administration] strongly discourages people from providing personal information over the telephone unless they are certain of who is on the other end of the line," the administration said in a statement. "In cases when the real [Social Security Administration] does call individuals, the agency has usually contacted the person before."
If you receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, you should report that information to the Office of the Inspector General by calling 800-269-0271 or visiting oig.ssa.gov/report
If you have questions about a phone call, email, text message or any other type of communication claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, you can contact any Social Security office or call Social Security's toll-free customer service number at 800-772-1213 to make sure it is legitimate. Social Security's number for the deaf or hard-of-hearing is 800-325-0778.