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Whether it’s a phone call from your own phone number, or someone trying to give you millions of dollars, the scams seem to be endless in the world of technology. There is yet to be an exact science to figuring out who is going to be scammed next, but the best advice to be given is for everyone to take precautions. 

“While there are times when social security employees may reach out to make contact, it is generally to those who have ongoing business with the agency,” Rosalie Alviar, Dallas Region Public Affairs Social Security Administration, said. “However, Social Security employees will never threaten, or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.”

The Social Security Administration is issuing tips and advice on how to stay safe when it comes to common scams making their way around through calls and e-mails. There has been a rise in scammers pretending to be government employees. During these calls or through e-mails, there may be demands for immediate payment to avoid arrest or other legal action or other threats. 

According to Alviar, Social Security representatives will not tell you your Social Security number has been suspended, and they won’t demand immediate payment. They also will not require a specific means of debt repayment such as debit cards, retail gift cards, or cash.

For those who feel they have received a scam call, it is recommended to hang up and do not give them money or personal information. After hanging up it is recommended to report the scam not only to local authorities, but to the Social Security Administration offices. 

In addition to the Social Security Administration offering a few tips, the Odessa Police Department also has a few key points:

The Odessa Police Department has recently received several complaints in reference to a scam involving a cashier's check and prepaid gift cards. Do not cash the check and do not purchase gift cards as this is a scam. Here are a few tips for avoiding scams:

1)  A legitimate business will never ask for payment in form of a prepaid gift card.

2)  The scammer will ask you to buy a prepaid debit/credit card and ask you for the code on the back of the card. DO NOT give them that information.

3)  Never give out your personal information (example: credit card numbers, social security numbers, birth dates, etc.).

4)  DO NOT pick up calls from unknown numbers or callers. If the information is important or urgent, the callers will probably leave a voicemail or find another way to contact you.

5)  Please be cautious if you decide to call the caller back as some scams are designed to bill victims for international calls (typically a $19.95 charge).

6)  DO NOT send cash and DO NOT wire money until you verify the information.

7)  Notify family members to determine if an emergency exists.

8)  Monitor your incoming calls carefully.

Managing Editor

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