Thursday, October 22, 2020 from Hingham Police Department
A resident received a scam phone call seeking their Social Security number from someone claiming to be from the Hingham Police yesterday. Remember, no police department, government agency, or legitimate caller would ever call asking for your personal information such as Social Security number!
On October 21, 2020, at 3pm a 59-year-old resident reported a scam phone call in which she did give some personal information to a scammer. She had received a from a person claiming to be from a police department in Texas. The caller ID showed a Texas area code. The caller said her car had been found with cocaine inside it and they needed her personal information, including her Social Security number. She refused to provide the information and was then told to call a different number back to further discuss the matter: this new number showed a Washington D.C. area code.
She called that number and the man said he worked for the "Department of Social Security". He also asked for her personal information, including her Social Security number. When she refused to provide it, the man hung up. She then received a call from a man who said he was from the "Hingham Police Department" and asked for personal information. She did give her MA drivers license number, full name, and birth date but she continued to refuse to give her Social Security number. That's when the man then said that "agents" were now coming to her home to arrest her. She then called Hingham Police.
Remember, scammers can easily "spoof" or change the caller ID to list any number or name. If you receive any unsolicited calls, call them back at a number actually listed to that agency/company. Realistically, you cannot trust the caller ID to be always genuine. Also, no government or private company that is legitimate should never call and ask for your Social Security number. Information such as your name, address, and relatives' names can easily be found on an Internet search, so if you receive a call from someone who sounds like they know some of your personal information (and is seeking more), that is probably why. These scammers can use your information for identity fraud to open false accounts in your name, have your wire or send money to them, or file false unemployment claims.
The simplest advice is just ignore any calls you don't recognize. If they leave a message, check it afterwards and decide if you want to call them back. You can easily check if their phone number is accurate before calling them back. Scammers work to steal your money quickly and your identity and don't like to wait to do it. They'll move on if you don't answer quickly; they are not patient because, for them, time is money they can be stealing.
Hingham Police assert, "Finally, please know that we take police reports of scams or fraud only when the resident losses money or gives out their personal information; we don't take reports about scam calls or emails where nothing is lost because there are scams happening all the time every day."