Protect your personal information, do not fall prey to phone or email scams. Occasionally an ERS payee falls prey to a phone scam. We cannot emphasize strongly enough that you should never provide personal information, such as your social security number, bank account number, date of birth, etc., to anyone who makes an unsolicited phone call to you. Under no circumstances will the ERS, your bank, credit card company or any governmental agency, including representatives for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) ever call you to verify this information—they will already have it in their records. These scam artists can sound very convincing over the phone.
Scammers also use caller ID spoofing, where the name of the company/ governmental agency will show on your caller ID, even though they are not a representative from that company or governmental agency. If the caller gives you a phone number to call to verify they are from that agency, do not call that number. Hang up and call the customer service number printed on your statement, the company’s website or phonebook.
For more information about how to report phone fraud, visit http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0076-telemarketing-scams
Additionally, never respond to an email requesting that you provide personal information to verify an account or to re-activate that account or service. Delete email and text messages that ask you to confirm or provide personal information (credit card and bank account numbers, social security numbers, passwords, etc.). Legitimate companies do not ask for this information via email or text.