San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan. Image from department video

District Attorney Summer Stephan Thursday warned San Diegans, especially senior citizens, to beware of a scam in which callers are pretending to be from the Social Security Administration in an attempt to obtain Social Security numbers for financial crimes.

There are multiple versions of the rip-off, Stephan said.

In some cases, the caller may say a person’s Social Security number has been linked to a crime and has been blocked, but that for a fee it can be reinstated. The caller then asks the victim to verify the Social Security number.

Another variation involves the caller saying that a person’s Social Security number has been used to apply for multiple credit cards, which could cause the person to lose Social Security benefits. Or the caller may say that a person’s bank account is on the verge of being seized and the victim should withdraw all cash from the account.

“All of these are scams,” Stephan warned. “Do not provide your Social Security number or banking information to any caller, even if the caller ID shows Social Security’s 1-800 number. Instead, hang up and call Social Security to verify. Unfortunately, scammers use technology to make any number they want appear on a caller ID.”

The Social Security Administration’s phone number is (800) 772-1213.

— City News Service

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