BBB warns of increase in scam calls posing as government agencies

Scammers pretending to work with government agencies

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In the last few months, dozens of Mid-Southerners have made reports to the Better Business Bureau saying they have received calls from people posing as someone working for a government agency.

Scammers seem to be getting more creative with their tactics every day - posing as someone from government agencies like the Social Security Administration and Medicare.

It may not be as easy to spot them this time of year.

“Right now, it’s open enrollment for Medicare advantage plans and for Medicare. So, people are getting calls and solicitations from legitimate companies, but Medicare and Social Security are never going to reach out to you and ask you for personal information,” said Nancy Crawford, with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.

Crawford stated over $300,000 have been lost nationwide in the last few months, and that number is just from the people who have reported the scammers.

“People are afraid to tell, or they feel silly because they fell for a scam and they don’t want other people to know,” said Crawford.

WMC Action News 5 received an email from a viewer who said she received a call from this number: (901) 334-4945. The automated voice claimed the call was coming from the Social Security Administration and they suspected criminal activity associated with her social security number. They claimed she could go to jail if she did not stay on the call.

Crawford said calls like that should never be believed, even if the caller ID number appears to be legitimate.

“There are ways for callers to spoof that information on caller ID,” she said, “If you think maybe it was Social Security or Medicare, go get your card and call the phone number on your card. That way you call them, and you know you’re talking to the right people.”

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