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VIPD: Scammers Target Old People On Social Security

FREDERIKSTED — The Virgin Islands Police Department is advising the general public that there is a Social Security Administration scam being perpetuated on old people in the territory.

Callers are claiming that they are law enforcement officers and they are requesting the person’s Social Security Number and demanding that you make money transfers to them.

Employees of the Social Security Administration will never:

  • threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or fee;
  • promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment;
  • require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card; or
  • send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If you receive a call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about a problem with your Social Security number or account, hang up or do not respond.

We encourage the public to report Social Security phone scams to the Social Security Administration or to the VIPD.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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