Jeri Schaf: Be Extra Vigilant About Scams

vpasheader0311Scammers are attempting to take advantage of federal benefits recipients as the push is on for everyone to switch from paper checks to electronic funds transfer. Reports from the Rockbridge community confirm that individuals are being contacted and asked for their Social Security, Medicare and banking information.

The only time Social Security or Medicare will call an individual is in response to that individual’s request. These agencies will never ask for your Social Security or Medicare number, date of birth, or banking information. Giving out this information puts you at very high risk of losing your money, or even your identity.

Everyone should remember to safeguard their personal and financial information. If a call is received asking for this information, it is very likely a scam. If you think it might be legitimate, you should still protect yourself by asking for a phone number where you can call back before you give out your information.

If you have been contacted by a possible scammer, you should immediately notify local law enforcement and, if there is even the slightest possibility that you might have given out any personal information, be sure to notify your bank as well.

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