Texas Publishes Their Social Security Numbers, Now Someone's Trying to Scam Them
Just give 'em John Doe's number, he won't mind.
Attorney General Greg Abbott is warning any Texans whose Social Security numbers were inadvertently exposed by the state government to, ummm, not just hand out that info to anyone calling to try to "confirm" things.
More than three million employees of two of the state's retirement systems had their SSN info (and other stuff!) stored on a publicly available Web site for a while. Now, Abbott's office says, some of those employees are getting calls from someone claiming to be with the Employment Retirement System.
A state employee reported receiving fraudulent telephone calls at home from an individual seeking to confirm the employee's Social Security numbers. The caller falsely claimed to be with ERS.
According to the report, a Health and Human Services Commission employee stated that an individual called the employee's home, identified himself as "Mike with ERS" and said he wanted to confirm the last four digits of the employee's Social Security number. When the employee refused to provide information, the caller said, "Good luck to you" and disconnected the call.
And good luck to you, Mike.
"State employees and all Texans who receive these kinds of fraudulent phone calls should not provide any information to the caller: JUST HANG UP!" screams the AG's office.
No one from the affected agencies is making any phone calls seeking such data.
Like everyone, affected employees should follow these steps, the AG says, if their info has been compromised:
• Request a copy of their credit report and review it for unauthorized account activity. • Contact a primary credit reporting bureau to have a fraud alert placed on the reports. That credit bureau will notify the other two bureaus. • Report unauthorized charges and accounts to the appropriate credit issuers and credit bureaus immediately by phone and in writing. Cancel the accounts. • File a police report with their local law enforcement agency and keep a copy of that report. Many banks and credit agencies require such a report before they will acknowledge that a theft has occurred.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.