Recently there have been an increased number of phone calls to residents in the JBT region, including some of our own customers, from people claiming
to be from the Social Security Administration. During these calls, the caller may talk about the possibility that your social security number could be “suspended” and then asks for your bank information as well as your social security number.
THIS IS A PHONE SCAM!!! The Social Security Administration WILL NEVER contact you by phone and request bank information or your social security number. Furthermore, the Social Security Administration WILL NEVER “suspend” a social security number.
What to do if you receive such a call
If you receive a call of this nature, it is important that you…
The “Microsoft” Phone Scam
- DO NOT give out ANY personal information
- Contact the Social Security Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271
Another popular phone scam that is targeting more and more people is a call from “Microsoft” regarding issues with the person’s computer.
The caller typically identifies themselves as a technician from Microsoft or a Microsoft related tech company and informs you that your Windows-based computer has been infected with a virus, or another problem. A common script the callers follow is something like:
“I’m calling from Microsoft. We’ve had a report from your internet service provider of serious virus problems from your computer.” The caller may go on to say that unless the issue is fixed the computer will become unusable. The “technician” will then offer to fix the problem for you.
Again, THIS CALL IS A SCAM!! Never give anyone who calls you access to your computer!
The simple fact is that Microsoft DOES NOT contact people to tell them there’s something wrong with their computer. So, unless you contacted Microsoft yourself and someone from Microsoft is calling back regarding your call, any unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft support is a scam. If you get such a call, hang up immediately.
What does the scammer want?
Many times the fake “technician” is trying to gain control of your computer. Having that control puts your personal information, banking information and other valuable information at risk. In other instances, the caller tries to sell you anti-virus protection or find another avenue to get payment or access to your bank account information.
What should I do if I’ve granted access to my computer?
If you have granted a caller access to your computer, contact your bank immediately. For JBT customers the contact would be our E-Banking service which will make your online banking dormant to help prevent any further loss.
Additional Current Phone Scams
According to ConsumerFraudReporting.org there are a number of additional current phone scams you should be on the lookout for. The most popular ones include:
Fake Government Officials
If you receive a phone call from a government agency (typically the IRS or FBI) and it instructs you to wire, Western Union or MoneyGram money someplace, this is a scam! The U.S. government would never instruct anyone to use those methods to pay any bill or carry out a financial transaction, particularly with an overseas bank or agency.
Your Microsoft Key Has Expired Phone Scam
This scam is designed to either take your money, your identity, or both. Generally you’ll hear an automated message that goes something like…”This is Microsoft. This call is to inform you that your Microsoft license key has expired and your computer will stop working soon. To reactivate your Microsoft license key, press 1 and speak with our customer care representative. So press one now. Thank you.”
Hang up. Do not press 1; the customer representative is a scammer who is trying to get money and information from you.
Medical Alert Phone Scam
This is a telemarketing scam targeting seniors that promises a 'free' medical alert system. The calls claim to offer the medical alert devices and system free of charge because a family member or friend has already paid for it. The caller asks for bank account or credit card information to “verify” their identity. The result is a monthly fee being taken out with no system ever arriving.
Scam “Bank” Text Messages
In this scam you receive a text alert that appears to come from your bank, asking you to confirm information or 'reactivate your debit card' by following a link on your smart phone. JBT, and all other banks, DO NOT send out such texts. This is just a way scammers are trying to steal your personal information.