Enterprise-Record (Chico)

Slam the Scam day aims to bring scam awareness

- By Jake Hutchison jhutchison@chicoer.com

This week I'm taking a little break from talking about new or recent scams to acknowledg­e Slam the Scam day, which is in its third year of trying to bring awareness and comprehens­ion to the public on how to avoid getting swindled.

The “holiday” is set for March 9, which is Thursday, and was started in 2020 by the U.S. Social Security Administra­tion in an effort to fight back against social security-related scams but has expanded through partnershi­ps with other government agencies as well as the non-profit sector.

“Last year, it expanded to include other government imposter scams as reported losses from consumers climbed to more than $446 million in 2021,” said a press release issued by the Office of the Inspector General. “According to the Federal Trade Commission, reported losses for 2022 are nearly $509 million.”

That's way too much money lining the pockets of scammers. If that makes you as angry as it makes me, you can show support for Slam the Scam by spreading the word about scams to your family and friends and sharing helpful informatio­n on how to avoid being scammed.

It's important to note the following:

• Government officials will never threaten to arrest you unless you send them money. If that happens, you can ignore the message and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

• You will never be asked by the government to pay a fee in order to resolve social security issues or up your benefits.

• The government certainly won't ask for payment in prepaid debit cards, gift cards or cryptocurr­ency.

You can report social security fraud and scams by going to https://secure. ssa.gov/ipff/home as well as other scams through www.ftc.gov/scams.

Stay safe out there folks and don't forget to help inform those you know to keep them from being scammed.

Scam of the Week generally runs every Tuesday. Readers are welcome to contact reporter Jake Hutchison to report scams and potential scams they have come in contact with by calling 828-1329 or via email at jhutchison@ chicoer.com.

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