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Marceline Carnegie Library

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Scams To Watch Out For

Medicare Scams

For your awareness: advises that you take the following precautions:

If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don't share your personal details, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit

Social Security Scams

Scammers call you and tamper with the Caller ID so it looks like the call really is coming from the Social Security Administration.

They will try to trick you into giving your social security number or even some form of payment. Scammers may threaten you by saying your SSN will be suspended or that there’s a problem with your benefits.

They may even demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or other legal action. While it may scare you in the moment, remember that this type of phone call would never happen with the real Social Security Administration.

Social Security rarely makes phone calls unless you’ve requested it first. If you get a call from Social Security that seems threatening or the caller asks for personal information, hang up. After you hang up, call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to verify if the call you just received was real or a scam.

If you truly owe money to Social Security, you will get a letter in the mail with payment options and appeal rights. The SSA will never do any of the following:

The contact information for the Social Security Administraion is:


Phone Number: 1-800-772-1213

Social Security Phone Number in Chillicothe: 1-877-405-7668

Local address: 1105 S Mitchell Ave, Chillicothe, MO 64601

Tech Support Scams

The scammers may pretend to be from a well-known tech company, such as Microsoft. They use lots of technical terms to convince you that the problems with your computer are real. They may ask you to open some files or run a scan on your computer — and then tell you those files or the scan results show a problem, but there isn’t one.

The scammers may then:

If a caller says your computer has a problem, hang up. A tech support call you don’t expect is a scam —even if the number is local or looks legitimate. These scammers use fake caller ID information to look like local businesses or trusted companies.

If you get a pop-up message to call tech support, ignore it. Some pop-up messages about computer issues are legitimate, but do not call a number or click on a link that appears in a pop-up message warning you of a computer problem.

If you’re worried about a virus or other threat, call your security software company directly, using the phone number on its website, the sales receipt, or the product packaging. Or consult a trusted security professional.

Never give someone your password, and don’t give remote access to your computer to someone who contacts you unexpectedly.

What To Do If You're Scammed:

Gift Card Scams

Giving scammers the PIN off the back of a gift card is the No. 1 way people report losing money (FTC).

Scammers will tell you to go to specific stores to buy gift cards. They may tell you you’re evaluating a retailer as a secret shopper or you’re in trouble with the government, and the only way to avoid arrest is through electronic vouchers.

eBay, Google Play, and Vanilla Visa are three of the most common gift cards requested by scammers, though reports suggest scammers have diversified and are asking for many different types of gift cards today.

Remember: if anyone asks to be paid with a gift card, it’s a scam.

The Grandparent Scam

The grandparent scam is a type of social engineering attack in which fraudsters claim the victim's grandchild is in trouble. Imposters pretending to be the police call and say that their grandchild has been in an accident or is involved in a crime.

Scammers will then ask their targets to take out large sums of money or make a wire transfer to “save” their grandchild.

The scammer will even use the real name of the victim's grandchild along with other identifying information that they find online to make the scam more believable. In other cases, the fraudster will even pretend to be the grandchild and claim to be in trouble.

In a recent version of this scam, fraudsters send ride-sharing services like Uber to pick up the cash in an envelope.

Warning signs of grandparent scams:

FBI or Law Enforcement Scams

Scammers will even call claiming that there is a warrant out for the victim’s arrest. If they don’t pay a fee or relinquish their financial information, they could go to jail.

Scammers will try to get you to act first and think later. They may seem to be calling from a legitimate number, or leave a voicemail that sounds scarily real; but you shouldn’t believe any of it. These calls are scammers out for your money, your information, or both.

This scam, like other imposter scams, counts on the fear factor. Because what could be more frightening than being in bad with our nation’s principal federal law enforcement agency? Sophisticated scammers know how to manipulate caller ID so the call looks like it’s coming from a legitimate agency. It isn’t.

No matter how urgent and serious the call sounds, neither the judgment nor the agent is real. The FBI advises that:

Sweepstakes and Elder Lottery Scams

Fraudsters reach out to an elderly victim and claim that they’ve won a contest, lottery, or sweepstakes that they never entered. But to receive winnings, they’ll need to pay upfront fees and taxes and supply their banking information for the transfer.

Scammers will often string along their victims for months or years, claiming that they need additional payment. But any money that’s sent goes straight to the scammer.

Warning signs of sweepstakes and lottery fraud:

Romance Scams

In this type of elder fraud, scammers create fake personas on dating apps or social media to lure their targets. Con artists will research you online and use details that you’ve shared publicly to entangle you.

Once they establish a rapport, scammers begin to request money, often in the form of gift cards, travel expenses, or healthcare costs.