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Attempted Phone Scam Has Authorities Issuing Warnings To Residents

By Staff | Aug 25, 2011

A phone call regarding an attempted Social Security scam has Palo Alto County Authorities issuing an urgent warning to area residents to be alert and suspicious of such calls. The warning comes after a West Bend resident received a phone call late last week.

According to Palo Alto County Chief Deputy Todd Suhr and West Bend Police Chief Rich Jergens, the resident reported receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be from the Social Security Administration. The caller asked the resident for their bank account information, including checking account information. When the resident questioned the reason for the caller’s need of the information, the caller threatened that the resident’s Social Security check would stop immediately if the resident did not provide the information. The resident did not give the caller the information and contacted the West Bend Police Department and Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office contacted the Social Security Administration office in Spencer, who stated unequivocally there is no type of survey being conducted which would ask anyone for such personal financial information, like the caller claimed.

“Our office and the West Bend Police Department are urging anyone to never, never give out any personal information or financial information to anyone they don’t know over the telephone,” Suhr said. “If you have any concern at all about not knowing whom you are speaking to, or why they would need to know financial information or other personal information from you, simply hang up on them. Then, call your nearest law enforcement agency, or the company that the caller claimed to be representing.”

“The best rule of thumb is to never give any kind of personal information out to people over the telephone,” Suhr concluded.