“Protect Social Security” scam targets seniors

Senior citizens in North Carolina are getting a misleading mailing that asks them to vote in a referendum on Social Security—once they’ve made a donation of $22 to cast their ballot.

Seniors and authorities in Cleveland County have reported the scam, which could be happening in other areas of the state. People who get the mailing may feel compelled to give money thinking it will help protect their Social Security benefits, and recipients could easily mistake the mailer as having been sent by their local Senior Center or county government.

If you get a questionable mailing, check it out thoroughly before you respond:

  • Does it appear to come from an organization you know and trust? Check the fine print carefully to see who is really behind the mailing.
  • Ask a knowledgeable friend or family member to review the mailing with you before you agree to send any money. See if they think the request is from a legitimate source.
  • Contact our office or local law enforcement if you have questions about a mailing.

To check out a questionable mailing or report a scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.