Social Security impersonation scam impacting Montanans

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Social Security 

impersonation scam impacting Montanans 

 

 

Two weeks ago a man in Havre gave out his Social Security number to a scammer. This morning a woman in Great Falls became another victim. Calls are being received across the state of Montana by persons pretending to be Social Security Administration employees. The intent of these calls is to steal the victim’s identity and/or money directly from their bank account. 

The calls often sound official and are designed by con-artists to get around their victim’s logic and caution by creating a sense of urgency and fear. Various versions have been reported throughout Montana: claiming the recipient’s Social Security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity; talking about enrollment in the Medicare prescription drug program; or offering a lower-cost health plan if someone in the person’s family had cancer. 

“It is important for Montanans to be aware of the existence of these potentially life-altering scams so our citizens, particularly those in our most vulnerable populations can protect themselves and their livelihoods,” said Renee Labrie-Shanks, Montana SMP Program Manager with Missoula Aging Services. The following are simple steps all Montanans can take to protect themselves and their loved ones: 

Never answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number. If it is important the caller will leave a message.

If you do answer the phone, do not press one, do not engage in dialogue about your personal life, and do not under any circumstances give out your Social Security number, your Medicare number, your bank account number, your birthdate or any other personal information.

If you suspect someone of impersonating the Social Security Administration, call the SSA OIG Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271 with caller’s alleged name, telephone number, time and date call was made, and information requested by the caller. If you have given out personal information, call your local Montana SMP at 1-800-551-3191.

Montana SMP is a statewide program designed to educate consumers about healthcare fraud, waste and abuse prevention. Missoula Aging Services administers the program throughout the state. 

For more information on this scam and how it is impacting the lives of Montanans, contact Missoula Aging Services at 406.728.7682.

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Upcoming Events

  • Monday, September 16, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Joliet Group meets at the Community Center Monday at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Now Group meets at the Bridger United Methodist Church, 222 W. Broadway (west entrance of church) Tuesday at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Meets every Thursday, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Red Lodge Area Community Foundation, 122 S. Hauser. It is open to all. 425- 1755.
  • Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Clarks Fork Group meets at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hall, north end of Montana Avenue, Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, September 20, 2019 - 7:00pm
    Rock Creek Group meets Tuesdays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m. at Calvary Church, 9 N Villard, Red Lodge.
  • Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 11:30am
    Ross Orchards, located at 111 North Street in Fromberg, is proud to announce the opening of a farm stand this Fall. The orchard will be open Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sundays noon - 5 p.m. starting Sept. 21 and closing Oct. 13. The orchard is working in conjunction with the Last Chance Pub and Cider Mill and Red Lodge Ales to offer fun, family-friendly events.   Every weekend apples, fresh apple cider pressed with apples from the orchard, apple pastries, local honey, food, hard cider, and beer will be available.  There will also be pumpkins and a variety of local produce for sale. Additionally, each weekend will have a different event. Sept. 21 - 22 – Cider and Salutations yoga 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sept. 28 – A farm to table dinner at 5 p.m. catered by the Last Chance Pub’s chef Kevin McNourlin. The dinner will feature local foods paired with cider. Contact info@lastchancecider.com to reserve seats (limit 40) Oct. 5 - 6 - Kidz Dayz. Bounce house, pumpkin carving, face painting and tractor rides through the orchard. Oct. 12- Orchard run 5k. A family-friendly run/walk through Ross Orchards. Visit redlodgeales.com/orchard-days to sign up. Sam Hoffmann, President of Red Lodge Ales, remarked, “it has been fun to get to know John, Laura, Hilary, and Elizabeth Ross over the last ten plus years. Together we have pruned, picked apples, and made cider on a home brew level and now commercially. We are proud to share our work with the public.” John Ross, owner of Ross Orchards, adds, “The orchard has always been a source of pride and happiness for me.  Our family has enjoyed working with Sam and Lindsey Hoffmann and their employees. We look forward to the success of Orchard days.” Contact for more info: John Ross 406-671-9614, johnwalkerross@gmail.com; Sam Hoffmann 406-425-4607, sam@redlodgeales.net; Lindsey Hoffmann 406-425-3734, lindseyhoffmann406@yahoo.com  

The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.