Bay Ridge — Identity thieves are pestering local residents on the phone and in person trying to trick them into revealing personal information about themselves, a lawmaker warned.
State Sen. Marty Golden sent out an alarm on May 4 for residents to be careful of the scammers. Golden said at least two incidents have taken place in recent days in which crooks attempted to obtain personal information from residents.
In one incident, a local resident received a phone call from a person claiming to work for the Kings County Clerk’s Office. The caller threatened the resident, saying that failure to provide personal information would result in the termination of their Social Security benefits, Golden said. The personal information the caller demanded included the resident’s marriage license.
When the resident refused to give any information, the caller left a telephone number to return the call, according to Golden, who said the phone number was affiliated with the County Clerk’s office.
Golden said his office reported the suspicious call Kings County Clerk’s Office and added that he also intends to report it to inspector general of the Office of Court Administration.
Another area resident reported receiving door to door visits from people claiming to be part of the Verizon preparation for FIOS. These individuals also requested personal information under the guise of Verizon.
Verizon officials stated that company never sends people soliciting door to door.
“I bring these two incidents to the attention of the neighborhood in an effort to alert people and prevent identity theft and fraud. The alarming reality is that there are people looking to prey on our residents, especially our seniors, in an attempt to open fake credit card accounts, withdraw money from banking accounts, and more,” Golden said.
“Identity theft has become the number one financial and consumer crime, causing individuals to lose their good financial standing and credit ratings,” he said.
Golden has pamphlets available in his office entitled, “Special Report to Consumers, Protect Yourself From Identity Theft.”
To obtain a copy, contact Golden’s office at (718) 238-6044 or via email at [email protected].
— Paula Katinas