Social Security warns of scam targeting seniors

November 17, 2006

The Social Security Administration is warning Baltimore area residents about a scam in which people pretending to be government workers are trying to obtain money from senior citizens. A statement from the agency says that numerous complaints have been received.

"I find it very troubling that some of our most vulnerable citizens are being targeted by these unscrupulous people," Social Security Commissioner Jo Anne B. Barnhart said in the statement. "I caution everyone not to give money to people who show up at their front door and to be extremely careful about releasing personal information."

Social Security said that people carrying out the scam call seniors and falsely advise them that they have been paid too much in benefits and that a representative will stop by to pick up the overpayment. They also tell people that they neglected to fill out a form and are not eligible for their next Social Security check.

Anyone who receives such a call or visit is urged to call the Office of the Inspector General of Social Security at 800-269-0271, or visit www.socialsecurity.gov/oig/. People can verify whether a call or visit is legitimate by calling the Social Security office at 800-772-1213.

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