Security officials warn recipients of e-mail scam
Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
MELVILLE, N.Y. — The government says that the 49 million people
receiving Social Security will get a 3.3% cost-of-living
increase next year. It didn't take long for crooks to try to
get their cut.
The Social Security Administration has issued a warning: Beware
of e-mails that look as if they come from the agency and have
the subject line "Cost-of-Living
for 2007 update." The body of the e-mail says,
"NOTE: We now need you to update your personal information." It
goes on to say that Social Security "will be forced to suspend
your account indefinitely" if you don't comply.
A recipient who clicks on the link in the e-mail will be taken
to a website designed to look like the SSA's home page.
The user will be asked to provide his Social Security number as
well as bank account and credit card information.
This is an example of "phishing," an Internet scam in which con
artists masquerade as a trusted agency or business in order to
steal sensitive information, then your money. Anyone who
receives this e-mail is asked to report it to Social Security's
inspector general at (800) 269-0271. Recipients are urged not
to open the e-mail, or any other purporting to be from Social
SSA corresponds with recipients only by regular mail and never
sends unsolicited e-mails.