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Old 06-28-2019, 04:51 AM
2,443 posts, read 2,069,466 times
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So it's not really a social security scam but a vehicle used to get personal information to go after bank accounts.
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:36 AM
Location: SW Florida
9,744 posts, read 7,027,781 times
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Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
How does anyone "clean out" someone's Social Security account? Or even take the money out of their own account? There isn't actually any money there in an SS account, just credits and an eligibility to receive monthly benefits.
That, and "SS" is not not going to notify people about the status, or any information about their personal accounts, savings or investments.

I hope my mind is never so three sheets to the wind to fall for such bull****.
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:39 AM
11,970 posts, read 5,106,726 times
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Originally Posted by jasperhobbs View Post
So it's not really a social security scam but a vehicle used to get personal information to go after bank accounts.
That's pretty much what all these scams are. Sometimes they pretend to be Social Security calling you, other times it's the IRS, others pretend to be a credit card company. The objective is for them to frighten you enough for you to give them enough personal information about your banking account so they can access it and deplete what's in it, often with you directing them to do so.

We all have different levels of naivety, depending on our lives circumstances. Older people seem to be much more gullible but I know someone in his mid 50s who fell for it as well.
The person I know who fell victim thought he was talking to someone from his credit card company. They said the payment hadn't been received and to avoid penalties and a bad mark on the credit report, he needed to have them take the money directly out of his account. They then attempted to take all the money out, several thousand dollars.
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:47 AM
Location: SoCal
13,202 posts, read 6,308,074 times
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I’ve been training my husband not to pick up the phone for this reason. This is one of the many reasons I want to annuitize some of our retirement money.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:15 AM
Location: northern New England
2,439 posts, read 1,059,176 times
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Your SS # will be suspended - take money out of your bank to safeguard it - buy gift cards.

You owe back taxes - only one way to pay - buy gift cards.

You have won a grant from the gov't. - you need to pay "registration fees" - buy gift cards.

You have won the PCH lottery - you need to pay "registration fees" - buy gift cards.

See the common thread? Once you read them the numbers from the back of the card you have loaded money onto, they have all your money - untraceable - no recourse. Western Union has started to crack down on scammers, so they have gone to gift cards.

The other common thread in these scams is that the person who calls you will most likely be from outside the US, with an accent. If you have any doubts if you are talking to the real IRS or SSA, ask to speak to someone without an accent. They will hang up.

I knew someone who almost got taken by the IRS scam, but she herself is from outside the US and thus her ear was not able to distinguish accents.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:24 AM
5,910 posts, read 6,711,111 times
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How many time do people have to hear from public service announcements that the SS Admin and the IRS will NEVER contact you by phone? They will ALWAYS send you a letter.

Maybe I am nave and will get my clock cleaned one day, but I really question the intelligence of people who get scammed. It is like they are intentionally being dumb, or at least not using their brains.
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Old 06-28-2019, 08:38 AM
1,695 posts, read 609,966 times
Reputation: 1756
I was a victim of an ID theft - long story, but I figured out what had happened before any irreversible damage was done. After that, I obtained a service from Experian which consists of freezing my credit, comprehensive monitoring of any activity related to my ID (including "legitimate" transactions as well as the "dark web"), plus guaranteed reimbursement of any financial damages resulting from ID theft up to $1 million. You can temporarily unfreeze your credit if you need. The service costs $20 per month, and I think it is worth having even if your ID has not been stolen (yet).
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:12 AM
8,187 posts, read 11,905,691 times
Reputation: 17958
Originally Posted by PartIrish View Post
It had just happened to him in the past week, and yes, he was scammed. Police told him that this scam has taken millions from people. I found this article that seems to confirm it:


About three percent of people called fall for it. That's enough to reward the scammers.

Yeah, but not millions from a single person. The article you linked to states that the median loss was less than $1,500 and that scammers got victims to purchase gift cards. They didn't clean out people's bank and/or investment accounts.

Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I'm just saying that if this man is a retired professor, he shouldn't have been one of the 3% of people gullible enough to fall for it.

I'm not saying it's not a real scam. I'm questioning this person falling for it.

I just don't understand anyone falling for these scams at this point, with all the press there has been about these types of scams, but especially someone as described doing so.
And I'm questioning how the alleged victim in the OP had his entire retirement savings wiped out. It's not as if giving out account numbers is divulging super-secret information. Hell, whenever you write a check you're giving out your name, address, account number and bank routing number. Not to mention an example of your signature for any scammers to attempt to copy.

Even if the OP's friends' husband's brother also gave out his SSN (which would have been incredibly stupid given that the call was purportedly coming from the SSA and they would have known what the number was since they said it was compromised, lol), that still wouldn't be enough to clean out his accounts. And if the scammers somehow got the bank to authorize a wire transfer out of the victim's account by using the above information, then Regulation E should have limited the victim's loss to $500 Or, if we're discussing retirement accounts at multiple financial institutions, then $500 per account.

So, again, I'm confused how the victim's entire retirement accounts could have been wiped out.
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:22 AM
29,772 posts, read 34,856,103 times
Reputation: 11681
Earlier this week my son had his wallet stolen with two not yet deposited checks we had written for Mother’s and Father’s Day to him and his wife. We contacted our bank and they recommended we close our account which we did and opened a new one with them. Very seamless and easy. Routing numbers in the wrong hand can be dangerous.
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Old 06-28-2019, 09:37 AM
9,422 posts, read 5,238,138 times
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Originally Posted by PartIrish View Post
Some friends of ours who are in their early 70s visited us this week and told us of a sad thing that happened to the husband's older brother. His brother, a retired college professor, got a call that purported to be from Social Security (caller ID said Social Sec.) and they told the man that his Social Security account had been compromised and all his money, including money in his financial accounts, was at risk. They convinced him to provide his account details so that SS could keep his money safe. The scammers promptly cleaned out his accounts. This is a man in his late 70s/early 80s who is intelligent, but he panicked, got caught in the scammer's net and as a result lost the remainder of his savings. Our friends' family members are each contributing something to restore some small level of the brother's nest egg. The victim is humiliated that he fell for the scam.

It's easy to say we would all be safe from such scams, but these scammers were very skilled, and our friend's brother was alone and vulnerable. If you know someone like this man, forewarning them about this type of scam in advance is highly advisable. Not all older people are tuned in to these sorts of crimes, and in the panic of the moment, they can become highly vulnerable.
Why isn't it common knowledge that any fed gov agency(i.e. SSA or IRS) never call people? They contact you, if need be, by snail mail. And re SSA benefits recipients, pls learn the SSA's various mailing addresses so you will know what you get from them is legit.
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