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Hurricane Sandy Scammers Targeting Seniors, Freeholder Warns

Scammer claims computers were damaged in the storm and requests personal information

Seniors should be aware of scammers using Hurricane Sandy as a means to solicit Social Security and other personal information, Ocean County officials warned Friday.

A county woman recently reported that she received a call from an individual claiming to be from the Social Security administration. If she did not give up her husband's Social Security number, the caller claimed his benefits would stop, said Freeholder Joseph Vicari, who serves as chairman of Senior Services. 

"The ploy used was that Social Security administration computers were damaged in the hurricane," Vicari said. "This is not true."

Social Security and Medicare will not call beneficiaries at home to ask for personal information or try to sell any products, Vicari said.

"If you want any information, you will have to call them," Vicari said. 

Never give out Social Security, Medicare, credit card or banking information to anyone unless you have initiated the call, the freeholder said.

"This is a scam that has just started in very difficult times," Vicari said, adding that a similar ploy was used in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. "A lot of people lost a lot of money."

Anyone who has received such a call is urged to contact the Ocean County Office of Senior Services at 732-929-2091 or the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs at 732-929-2105.

To stay updated with information from Ocean County as Sandy recovery continues, visit www.co.ocean.nj.us

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