CONCORD — State Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald issued a scam alert, especially for the state’s older adult population, related to a rise in Social Security-related scam calls.
Over the past month, the Attorney General’s Consumer hotline has experienced a sharp increase in calls reporting Social Security-related scams.
New Hampshire residents have received scam phone calls from an automated message stating there has been “fraud” associated with the recipient’s Social Security Number.
The message asks the recipient to press “1” or stay on the line to speak with an individual who can “help” or “assist” with the fraud.
The recipient is then connected to an individual (a scammer) who requests personal identifying information, including the recipient’s name, date of birth, and Social Security Number.
Those receiving this type of call have reported that the scammers use scare tactics and threatening language in attempts to obtain the personal information. It has also been reported that the scammers are leaving messages when their calls go unanswered, requesting that recipients call them back.
The Attorney General’s Office reminds New Hampshire residents that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will NEVER:
• Threaten you.
• Suspend your Social Security Number.
• Demand immediate payment, require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer.
• Ask for gift card numbers over the phone.
Further, the SSA will never make an unsolicited call to you and ask for your Social Security Number or other personal identifying information.
The Attorney General’s Office urges New Hampshire residents to be vigilant. Anyone receiving a suspicious call from someone claiming to be with the SSA, or requesting Social Security-related information should take the following steps:
• Do not engage with the caller.
• Hang up the phone immediately.
• Do not return unknown calls, texts or e-mails.
• Do not give money or personal information.
• Report the scam to the Office of the Inspector General — Social Security Administration at https://oig.ssa.gov/report; or (800) 269-0271.
Be aware that scammers are able to “ghost” or utilize what appear to be trusted telephone numbers, including those of government agencies and law enforcement.
As a result, even if it appears that the telephone number is familiar or is from a reliable source, the Attorney General’s Office advises all to be cautious and aware of the potential that it may be a scam call.
Anyone with knowledge that a vulnerable adult has been scammed or financially exploited should contact local law enforcement as well as the New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services, at (800) 949-0470.