Massachusetts See 500% Surge in Social Security, Apple Support, and Utility Scam

As scam and fraud calls continue to victimize residents across the country, Hiya has decided to do our due diligence by providing a weekly update on the top area codes targeted by these unwanted callers.

We’ll be providing the area code, top cities affected, the growth in spam and fraud calls, and the top three scams hitting consumers during the spike in calls.

Check out this week’s victim:

Massachusetts residents living in the 781 area code.

Top 10 Cities include:
1) Dedham
2) Saugus
3) Reading
4) Stoneham
5) Wakefield
6) Weymouth
7) Arlington
8) Lynn
9) Medford
10) Needham

Growth since January 2018 to Present:

Fraud Calls –  492%

Scam Calls – 350%

Top 3 Scams Hitting 781 Residents:

Social Security Fraud: Scammers are contacting consumers and spoofing their number to disguise themselves as the SSA’s customer service number – 1-800-772-1213. They claim that they’re an SSA employee and either need personal information, including the victim’s Social Security number to confirm the individual’s file, inform a victim they’d like to increase their benefit payments and need additional info, or threaten the victim that they’ll stop their Social Security benefits if they don’t hand over their information.
Apple Support: Using the spoofing technique, scammers are posing as Apple Customer Service calling in regards to a notification of a possible virus on the victim’s device. After the scammer informs the victim of the so-called virus, they offer to fix the issue and ask for access to their device. Unfortunately, victims who fall for this scam not only give scammers access to financial and personal information, but are then duped into paying for their services through Apple iTunes gift cards.
Utility Scam: Scammer use three utility scam tactics to take advantage of consumers.

  •      Offers to lower utility bill. Scammers call to offer a plan to help lower the consumer’s electric bill. This will usually include asking the homeowner for account information and/or billing information to “review” the account.
  •      Threats to shut off electricity. Scammers will call to threaten that electricity will be shut off unless an overdue payment is made immediately. Consumers will also be directed to call an 800 number to avoid a service interruption. Watch out for messages that urge consumers to act fast, “This is an urgent public service announcement regarding your electricity bill.”
  •      Federal program assistance. The call will usually say the consumer is eligible for a reduced rate due to a federal program.

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