Lowville man warns others about phone scam

Lowville man warns others about phone scam

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - John Szijarto of Lowville is sick of getting scam phone calls.

"I'm on the do not call registry but to me it seems like it doesn't work," he said.

Since retiring, Szijarto he says he's gotten more than a dozen calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration.

"The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you there is legal enforcement actions filed on your Social Security number," one message said.

Szijarto says the calls come from out of state and say his Social Security number has been compromised or is going to be suspended. They ask for him to call a number back. Szijarto knows not to, but he's worried about others.

"It's scary to get them because I know if you take an elderly person that's not sure of what's going on they hear a call like this, it's going to scare them to death. And they are going to call back and probably chance losing everything they have got," he said.

Kelly Hecker from the Lewis County Office for the Aging says if you happen to answer a scam call, you should hang up.

"Nobody should ever give out their personal information. The Department of Social Security will never contact you by phone, only by mail," she said.

Hecker says scammers are trying to get your Social Security number to commit identity theft.

"It takes advantage of our older populations and when an individual is on a fixed income, it can definitely be a finical burden," she said.

People who receive scam calls can report them to the sheriff or the Office for the Aging.

As for Szijarto, he says he hopes sharing his experience will prevent someone from making a costly mistake.

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