Greensburg seniors getting scam Social Security calls
Greensburg area senior citizens have been receiving robocalls telling them that their Social Security number has been suspended and instructing them to call a Houston area phone number to get it fixed.
The calls are a scam and should not be responded to, said Murrysville consumer advocate Mary Bach .
“I give more than 100 speeches each year and I hear lots of stories from lots of people. This is just another iteration of the very common spin the scammers put on various subject issues,” said Bach, chairwoman of the AARP Consumer Issues Task Force.
Bach said the Social Security Administration does not communicate with people by making cold calls. Returning a robocall could result in the loss of money or personal information.
“It may put her in touch with a scammer who asks for her (Social Security) number and other personal information, even saying there is a charge to fix her number in the system and asking for her credit card number,” she said.
Carolyn Falcon, of Greensburg, said she received four calls in 24 hours this week. “They said my Social Security number had been suspended and that I needed to take care of it right away,” she said.
She either hung up or did not return the calls, which instructed her to call a Houston number with a 713 area code.
Francis Ross, 76, of Greensburg, said a similar call was left on her answering machine. It gave instructions to call a Houston number with an 832 area code.
“I think it needs to get stopped before it gets too many people involved,” Ross said.
Calls to the numbers by the Tribune-Review ended either in a busy signal or in a recording saying the number is not in service.
The Pennsylvania elder abuse hotline (1-800-490-8505) said it was aware of the Social Security scam.
According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging , Pennsylvania had the second-most number of calls (162) to its fraud hotline in 2017.
On Monday, the state Department of Aging and Department of Banking and Securities issued a joint warning against holiday scams directed at senior citizens.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.