Social Security, IRS, DEA, OPM are not calling you!

Nancy Olumekor

March 18, 2020

Share this article

(This article first appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

These are Scams – Fraud Calls.

When you receive a “cold call” from one of these federal agencies, it is a fraud call. A “cold call” is an unsolicited call from someone that you did not call or they may leave you a message to call them back. These are fraud calls, or scams. The callers are attempting to get your personal identifying information, such as your social security number, your bank account, your CSA number or your credit card information. Absolutely no federal agency will ever “cold call” you to discuss your personal identifying information. Be aware and don’t let this happen to you!

The following is a true account of a fraud call and financial scam involving a retiree. On the same day that a retiree’s annuity was deposited into their bank account, they received a telephone call claiming that their Social Security number came up in a money laundering scheme which was being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The retiree was told that a warrant was issued for their arrest. The retiree was advised that in order to avoid arrest, all of the money in their bank account had to be converted to gift cards and the gift card numbers given to the caller, posing as a DEA agent. The caller remained on the telephone with the retiree until the retiree purchased the gift cards and gave the caller the numbers on each gift card. The next day, the retiree went back to the store to make sure the money was still on the gift cards, and the cards had zero balances.

Of course, the DEA agent was a fraud; the retiree’s money was gone. This fraud was reported to the police, the bank and Social Security. The retiree also reported this fraud scheme to the US Senate Special Committee on Aging by calling the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470.

If you ever receive this type of call or message, hang up the telephone and don’t return the call.

It is important that you report these incidents to the Fraud Hotline because the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging has made consumer protection and fraud prevention a major focus of its work. The Fraud Hotline offers help to victims and to those targeted by scammers. Committee staff and investigators are experienced in dealing with scams and fraud, and they speak directly with the victims and will assist the victim. Every year, the Aging Committee releases a report, the Fraud Book, to educate older Americans about the most frequently reported frauds and scams. For the first time since the report was released, the Social Security Impersonation Scam is now the most frequently reported scam. The 2020 Fraud Book provides information about how to spot and stop this and other scams. Call 202-224-0185 to request copies of the 2020 Fraud Book.

From Collective Begging to Collective Bargaining!

Fifty years ago, postal employees throughout the country “Made Their Mark” on the world! This month, we celebrate the 1970 Great Postal Strike. The employees who worked for the Post Office at that time demonstrated a tremendous act of courage. All of us who came to work for the USPS are the beneficiaries of their bravery. We recognize you! We thank you! We celebrate you!

In recognition of Older Americans Month, May 2020 this year’s theme “Make Your Mark” was selected to encourage and celebrate the countless contributions that older adults make to our communities. Our time, experience, and talents benefit family, peers, and neighbors every day. This year’s theme highlights the difference everyone can make – in the lives of older adults, in support of caregivers, and to strengthen communities.

REMEMBER: Do your part, GOTV Get Out the Vote 2020!

Stay in touch with your union

Subscribe to receive important information from your union.