It is important not to give out any personal information to suspicious online websites or callers, the Wapakoneta police chief says, as there has recently been reports of Social Security scamming.
Police Chief Russ Hunlock advises local residents to never give out any personal information to just anyone.
“We advise not to give out information, until they can verify who they are,” Hunlock said.
Social Security recipients have filed reports with the Better Business Bureau that someone is calling them and asking personal questions and pretending to be a part of the Social Security Administration.
The suspicious caller tells the consumer that their check will be increased and that they need updated information. Then, the caller asks for personal and financial information, such as their Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, bank account and routing numbers.
Hunlock advised people to ask the caller to verify who they are and he noted residents can always have the police department help to verify the caller or online website.
“We want to make sure everyone uses caution,” Hunlock said. “If they feel that they have given out personal information, give us a call and let us look into it.”
Locally, Hunlock said they have not received any reports of Social Security ID fraud recently.
To take precautions, citizens are advised to never give out Social Security numbers and other personal or financial information to anyone who calls, according to the Better Business Bureau. This is a “phishing” scam and preys on elderly citizens who may be overly trusting and easily confused.
Hunlock also notes to prevent identify theft or other consequences from this scam is not to give any personal information out to anyone.
“Sometimes it is difficult to track down (the scammers) to find out who they are,” Hunlock said.
Such incidents should be reported to the Social Security office, the consumer’s bank, the Better Business Bureau and the local police department.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Hunlock said. “Be safe and cautious to who calls you and while online.”