BBB warns Pine Belt residents of fraudulent calls

Verify caller before giving out personal information over the phone

BBB warns Pine Belt residents of fraudulent calls

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A warning to Pine Belt residents: don’t fall victim to fraudulent phone calls. The Better Business Bureau said crooks are targeting Hattiesburg residents over the phone.

“We are getting phone calls," said CEO John O’Hara from the Better Business Bureau serving Mississippi. "There’s been an increase that started last week and it’s continuing this week. They are saying they are with the Social Security Administration and they are wanting to update your information.”

Those are fraudulent calls and O’Hara said the voice on the other end of the line is forcefully trying to obtain your personal information.

“If you do not update your information, you are in violation and they are going to come arrest you," O’Hara said. "They are telling callers they are an officer of the Social Security Administration and are saying you may lose your benefits and be fined. So, they are kind of threatening people and then asking basic questions like your name, your address and your social security number.”

Callers trying to collect all the vital information anyone would need to steal your identity. It's important you don't fall victim to these deceiving calls. Don't give your private information out before verifying the call.

“Don’t call the number back that someone called you on, because they are doing what’s called spoofing where they are using a different phone number,” O’Hara said.

Instead, call the direct number for the Social Security Administration.

“If you are making a call into an organization, then you know you are calling someone, it is okay to give that information as long as you know you are calling the right people,” O’Hara said.

It’s important to remember the Social Security Administration sends all correspondence through U.S. Mail.

To report any fraudulent phone calls, click here to visit the Better Business Bureau website.

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