A phone screen displays a message warning of a potential spam call. Juneau Police Department warns residents to be aware of a scam involving someone claiming to be with Social Security Administration. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Police warn of phone phishing scam

Scammers are posing as members of the Social Security Administration.

Alaska police departments have received numerous complaints about a Social Security scam wending its way through the 907 phone exchanges.

“It’s definitely going around statewide. We’ve heard from several people in the area,” said Homer Police Chief Mark Robl.

In Juneau, the Juneau Police Department warns residents to watch out for calls from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, a police spokesperson said.

The calls employ emotionally loaded statements to attempt to get personal information, which the scammers will use to commit fraud, said JPD public safety manager Erann Kalwara in a news release.

“Some of these calls contained very alarming statements,” Kalwara said. “Some call recipients were told their Social Security number was implicated in serious crimes including murder and drug trafficking or that vehicles registered to them have been found with drugs in them.”

The scammers will use technology to disguise their point of origin, making it appear they’re calling from local numbers, even though this is not the case, Kalwara said.

“For the safety of your information, we recommend you never provide personal information unless you know with certainty you are talking to a trusted entity. Most government and banking entities will not initiate contact by phone,” Kalwara said. “If you receive suspicious calls, we recommend you hang up without providing any information. After hanging up, you can call the named organization at their published phone number if you think it might be a real call.”

Robl retiterated that advice.

“We highly, highly recommend against anyone giving any person information like that (Social Security numbers) over the phone for anything.” he said.

Robl said one person reported giving out their Social Security number. So far it doesn’t look like any identity theft has happened, but police are working with the victim to mitigate damage, he said.

The Social Security Administration has frequently asked questions for dealing with fraud on their website at https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-10018, Kalwara said. If a scam leads to loss of funds or monies, Kalwara said, the victim of the scam should contact the JPD immediately at www.juneaupolice.com.

Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com. Homer News reporter Michael Armstrong contributed to this story.

More in News

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announces a tourism aid initiative during a press conference on Friday, April 9, 2021, at Wings Airways Hangar in Juneau, Alaska. Dunleavy was joined by officials and business owners, including Alaska Sen. Peter Micciche (left). (Governer’s Office/Kevin Goodman)
Dunleavy announces tourism aid initiative

Dunleavy said 1.3 million tourists were expected to come to Alaska via cruise ship before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down operations.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Halibut season starts slow in Homer

The halibut season is off to a slow start in Homer, with… Continue reading

A Kelly Tshibaka campaign sign is seen inside of Nikiski Hardware & Supply on Friday, April 9 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Tshibaka makes rounds on the peninsula

The former DOA head is challenging Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her Senate seat.

Homer News file photo
Homer High School.
School announcements

School district risk level update and upcoming events

Courtesy photo 
Dr. Cheryl Siemers, the new director of Kenai Peninsula College, is seen in this undated photo. She begins her term on Monday, June 21, 2021.
Cheryl Siemers to lead Kenai Peninsula College

Gary Turner is the current KPC director, and will be stepping down in June.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meets Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
School board kills efforts to phase out insurance benefits for board members

Members of the board receive a monthly stipend in addition to being eligible for district insurance.

Homer Flex High School Phoenix Award winner David Young holds his certificate on March 25, 2021, at Flex High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Homer Flex High School)
Homer Flex Phoenix Award winner: David Young

Homer Flex School recently released its recipient of the Flex Phoenix Award… Continue reading

City of Homer staff hold a meeting in the Cowles Council Chambers at Homer City Hall in this undated photo. The chambers are being remodeled to allow COVID-safe public meetings. (Photo courtesy of City of Homer)
Council introduces ordinance prohibiting beach launches of Jet Skis

Council introduces ordinance to ban launching Jet Skis, other powerboats, from beaches.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alaska alert level is higher than national average.

COVID-19 cases continue rising statewide and on the southern Kenai Peninsula. Statewide,… Continue reading

Most Read