Department & Division News

Social Security, IRS, & OPM Are Not Calling You!

Be on Alert for Fraud Calls.

(This article first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine) 

By Retirees Department Director Nancy Olumekor

When you receive a “cold call” from a federal agency – like the Social Security Administration, the IRS, or the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – it is a fraud call. A “cold call” is an unsolicited call from someone that you did not call, which may include a voicemail to call them back. Cold callers identifying themselves as being from a government agency are committing fraud – they are attempting to get your personal identifying information, such as your social security number, your bank account information, your CSA (Civil Service Annuity) number or your credit
card information.

I recently received a “cold call” message from someone claiming to work for the Social Security Administration. The message said it was “urgent that I call the Social Security Administration as soon as possible and provide the last four digits of my Social Security number to identify myself.” The caller warned that “if I failed to call back a warrant would be issued for my arrest.”

The call sounded serious, but I quickly realized that this was a scam fraud call. I haven’t applied for Social Security or Medicare, so there was no reason for them to call me. More importantly, no one should ever “cold call” you requesting your personal identifying information.

When you receive this type of call or message, hang up the telephone and don’t call back or return the call. Instead, report the call and the telephone number to the toll-free Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470. This hotline was set up by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging to serve as a resource for seniors and others targeted and affected by scams.

According to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging’s Fighting Fraud Book, the Special Committee has made consumer protection and fraud prevention a major focus of its work. The Fraud Hotline has helped increase reporting and awareness of consumer fraud. Callers to the hotline speak to committee staff and investigators who have experience dealing with a variety of scams and fraud. In addition, the Special Committee’s Fighting Fraud Book is designed to serve as a resource for seniors and others who wish to learn more about common scams and ways to avoid them.

The 2019 Older Americans Month theme is Connect, Create, Contribute. It encourages older adults and their communities to:

  • Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
  • Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
  • Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.

Alliance for Retired Americans National Membership Meeting

APWU retirees from FL, GA, TX, CA, and NV attended the 2018 The Alliance for Retired Americans 2018 National Membership Meeting held in Las Vegas, NV. Pictured with APWU retirees is Rich Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance on the left and Robert Roach, President of the Alliance on the right. The Alliance for Retired Americans is a Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service signatory.

Save the Date

Retiree Department Educational Conference, October 25-30, 2019,Bally’s Hotel, Las Vegas, NV