Hoax letter, call targeting Kentuckians’ Social Security and veteran benefits
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Senior citizens and military veterans are being warned of a new scam that attempts to switch their monthly bank deposit to a con artist’s bank account.
The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General announced it recently received reports from seniors and veterans in Edmonson, Fayette, Jefferson and Spencer counties, who say scammers tried to steal their monthly Social Security or veteran benefit.
Attorney General Andy Beshear says his office was able to help one of the veterans scammed recover $3,169.
Beshear says the scam begins with someone pretending to be an employee of a bank, the Social Security Administration or a veteran organization, and claims the victim’s benefit deposit must be ‘reverified’ following ‘suspicious activity.’ Once the victim provides their personal, banking and account login information, the scammer has what they need to steal the victim’s identity and make unauthorized direct deposit changes.
The availability of mobile deposits can also result in con artists targeting unsuspecting victims to transfer money to the scammer using pre-paid credit and gift cards, which are most difficult to trace.
To avoid getting scammed, The Attorney General’s Office says:
1. Do not respond to unknown callers. If you did not initiate contact with the Social Security Administration or the Veterans Benefits Administration, and are randomly contacted by them – it is most likely a scam.
2. Never provide your personal, financial or account login information to unknown, unverified people. Always contact the legitimate agency independently before any transaction.
3. Protect your computer and banking data by using security software, firewalls and keep security patches and passwords up to date.
Since taking office, Beshear has been working to protect Kentucky families from scams by issuing an alert when new and trending scams are reported in the Commonwealth.