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Jeri Fields: Beware of Social Security scammers

Social Security and its Office of the Inspector General continue to receive reports about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be Social Security employees. These scammers try to trick people into providing personal information or money, and often threaten their victims with arrest. Don’t be fooled.
Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Real Social Security employees also will not:
• Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended.
• Contact you to demand an immediate payment.
• Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
• Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash.
• Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.
• Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.
If you receive a suspicious call or are unsure of the identity of someone who claims to be from Social Security:
• Hang up.
• Do not give money or personal information.
• Report the scam to our Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov.

Jeri Fields is the manager of the district Social Security office in Ironton.