Social Security scammers preying on residents

Authorities are warning of scammers who pretend to be offering you more Social Security benefits.

Jackson County Sheriff Rick Meyer is alerting you to a scam that has been circulating, which starts with a letter that appears to be on Social Security Administration letterhead. You are asked to call a toll-free number to activate a cost-of-living benefits increase or increase in other benefits. But Social Security makes cost-of-living increases automatically and those do not require activation.

You should not respond directly to a letter or phone call that appears to be from the agency. Instead call your local office or check the SSA website first.

Meyer offered several tips to protect yourself from scammers. He says you should assume any unsolicited phone call is a scam. You should never give out your banking or credit card number to a caller. Instead, hang up and call your bank or credit card company to check the situation.

And if you have any questions about whether a call is legitimate, you can call the sheriff’s department in your community to check it out.

“If you ever suspect a call, email or letter is not legitimate, stop and call us,” said Meyer. “Please call us first. It’s our job to keep residents safe and free from harm, and that includes scam artists.”