Scam victim: I was taken hook, line & sinker

July 01, 2019 07:31 PM

SCHAGHTICOKE - When Shannon Dalpe played back her phone messages last Friday afternoon, the one she thought was from the Social Security Administration sounded legit.

"The investigator came on and gave me his name and his badge number," she said. "I received a phone call saying there was an issue with my Social Security number, so I gave them my Social Security number to verify who I was."


What Dalpe was listening to is something that 76,000 other people reported happening them last year, an imposter calling from Social Security, a ruse that has cost Americans $19 million.

"I'm a very smart, educated person and I never thought that this would happen to me," Dalpe stated. "The fact that he knew so much about the law and he was very nice, firm voice, and wanted to help me is why I got taken hook, line, and sinker."

The problem this time around for Dalpe was that she previously lost her Social Security card and knew how important it was to replace it. So when a guy told her to purchase three Google Play gift cards at a cost of $1,500 or else face possible prison time or forfeiture of her property, she went along with it.

As soon as Dalpe realized she had been hoodwinked, she contacted state police. She says her bank credited her with $500 and hopes Google Play will refund the other thousand dollars she lost, but there's no guarantee of that.

She admits she was taken by a smooth-talking scam artist which has given her a new outlook on life.

"I'm more suspicious of people now which I wasn't before," she said. "I've always been a trusting person and now I really question a lot."

If you receive a similar call, there are few things to keep in mind. First, the Social Security Administration never calls to threaten you or your benefits, they never ask you to wire them money, and they won't suspend your Social Security number.

If you're suspicious, hang up and call the Administration yourself.

Also, if you don't recognize the number on the caller ID, don't answer it.


Dan Levy

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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