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East Hartford Police warn seniors about Social Security scam

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EAST HARTFORD –  East Hartford police are investigating a variation of an IRS scam that remains an issue nationwide and involves somebody claiming to be a Social Security Administration representative.

According to police, two South Windsor residents were called by a somebody with an accent and was possibly of Indian descent. The caller said that the victims owed money to the “Department of Social Security” and that they would be arrested if they didn’t send money via “Moneygram.”

One of the residents actually went to Walmart in Manchester and sent $500 via Moneygram. Police  said they tried to cancel the transaction with the assistance of Walmarts’ staff but the money had been claimed shortly after it was sent.

Police said that if someone saying they are from Social Security does contact you requesting information, don’t respond. Instead, contact your local Social Security office or call police to confirm whether or not information is really needed from you.

According to the Social Security Administration website,

Social Security and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) take these scams very seriously. We do everything we can to stop the perpetrators and educate the public. To report suspicious activity, please call the OIG Hotline at 1-800-269-0271. (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call the OIG TTY number at 1-866-501-2101.)

A public fraud reporting form is also available here. Other tips to avoid fraud are listed by the IRS here and the Federal Trade Commission here.

Whatever you do, police advise that you don’t give out your personal information.