Q: I am a widow who lives in Westerly. Recently, I received a call from someone who claimed to be from Social Security. The caller claimed that Social Security was updating its records and needed to verify...
|Scooped by Dirk Braun|
Q: I am a widow who lives in Westerly. Recently, I received a call from someone who claimed to be from Social Security. The caller claimed that Social Security was updating its records and needed to verify my Social Security number. Without thinking, I gave the caller my information. Almost immediately, I realized that I had made a mistake, but the caller had already hung up. A few of my neighbors have received similar calls. I’m sure that I have been scammed. What do I do now?
A: It’s not uncommon for scam artists to make calls claiming to be government officials. Many times, they catch victims off-guard and obtain valuable personal information that can be used to access bank accounts or credit cards, apply for loans, or even file fraudulent disability claims.
To protect your financial accounts, identity and credit records, you should notify your bank and credit card companies immediately. It’s probably a good idea to cancel your credit card account and get new cards.
Closely monitor your monthly credit card statement. If you notice any unusual activity on your credit card statement, call the three major credit rating services to file a report. The companies include Equifax (fraud hotline: 888-766-0008), Experian (fraud hotline: 888-397-3742), and TransUnion (fraud hotline: 800-680-7289).
Call your bank and change your account numbers. Monitor your Medicare Summary Notice (a summary of all Medicare claims and payments made using your Medicare number) for any unusual activity, such as billing for medical services that you did not receive, or durable medical equipment that you did not order. Notify the Social Security Administration (800-772-1213) and also file a report with your local police department and the Consumer Affairs Unit of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office at (401) 274-4400.
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