Woodstock police issue scam alert

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WOODSTOCK — In response to increasing reports of criminals impersonating agents of the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG), local police are warning the public to be vigilant against a new scam tactic.

According to the SSA OIG, these impostors are contacting individuals, claiming to be SSA OIG agents, and demanding to meet in person to collect cash payments.

The OIG has clarified that real agents will never approach citizens for direct monetary exchanges at their homes or any other locations.

The emergence of this scam represents a new, potentially dangerous element to the already known fraudulent practices, where scammers often pressure victims to make payments using cash or gift cards.

Official government agencies, including the SSA OIG, have affirmed that they do not operate by requesting funds in this manner.

Inspector General Gail S. Ennis has expressed concern over the evolving nature of these scams, which aim to intimidate and pressure people into quick decisions that can result in significant financial loss. “Our agents are active in the field, but they will not ask you for money.

I urge everyone to ignore these types of illegitimate requests,” Ennis said.

To protect oneself against such scams, the public is advised to immediately cease communication with the scammer, secure bank accounts, notify financial institutions, and report the incident to the police.

Victims should also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (ic3.gov), report Social Security-related scams to the SSA OIG (oig.ssa.gov), and inform the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov) about other types of scams.

It’s also recommended to keep a record of all financial transactions and communications with the scammer for investigative purposes.

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