Phone scam

Another in a series of phone call scams reported to Corry City Police involves a caller claiming to be from the Social Security Administration who identifies himself as an officer and threatens legal action.

This is not the first time such calls have been reported to Corry City Police. Several reports were received in November from residents who were getting phone calls and told they were involved in Social Security crimes.

Corry Police Chief Rich Shopene said that just because a scam has been reported, doesn't mean it stops. There are scams that have been going on for years.

Even though scams are known by federal authorities, victims of scams should still report them, Shopene said.

"The thing of it is, they may get a different scam that we don't know about, or a variation of the same thing," Shopene said.

In a recently reported scam in Corry, an automated voicemail message was received that stated legal action would be taken if a call was not returned.

When a return call was made, the person who answered claimed to be from the Social Security Administration, identified himself as Officer Will Smith, badge number GS14578, and said he was investigating fraudulent activity associated with a specific unnamed Social Security number. 

"Smith" asked for a birthdate and Social Security number claiming it was to verify identity in order release sensitive information.

After being told the police would be contacted, "Smith" provided a case file number to give to the police. He gave instructions to provide the police with his name, badge number and the case file number and then call back.

After it was reported, police said it was a scam that has been going on for about a year.

If a federal agency needs to get a hold of you, such as the Internal Revenue Service or the SSA, they will either send someone to your house or they will mail you a notification. They will not call you, Shopene said.

Never give out personal information, such as bank account numbers or Social Security numbers. Residents can call local police to confirm if a questionable phone call is a scam and Shopene said he refers people to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office.

Pennsylvanians can also call 800-441-2555 or email scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

"They keep a database on scams also," Shopene said.

The attorneygeneral.gov website gives "consumer advisories," which is a large list of ongoing known scams and also gives the option to sign up for text message consumer alerts.

Some scams, such as the Nigerian scam that asks for money because of life-threatening problems, have been going on for at least 10 years, Shopene said.

 

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