Beware of Increase in Scammers This Holiday Season

An increase in scams over the holidays can be expected and Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office wants the public to be aware. “Using robocalls or live callers, fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account, or benefits,” warns the Sheriff’s Office. “They may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets, or resolve identity theft. They often demand payment via retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency such as Bitcoin, or pre-paid debit card. As we continue to increase public awareness of phone scams, criminals will come up with new ways to convince people of their legitimacy.” It’s important to know that the Social Security office will never do the following: threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or fee; promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment; require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card; or send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email. If you receive a suspicious call or email about your Social Security number or account, hang up and do not respond. If you receive a suspicious call and are unsure what to do, call the National Fraud Information Center at 1-800-876-7060. 

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