The Vinton County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) is alerting the public regarding what the authorities believe to be scam calls to local residents from persons falsely claiming to represent the U.S. Social Security Administration.

VCSO made the following post on its Facebook page on Tuesday, Sept. 14:

“The Vinton County Sheriff's Office has received several complaints recently involving an individual calling from a local number and saying that there is a problem with your Social Security account and they are suspending your Social Security Number unless you press 1. The Social Security Office would NEVER call you and say this. No one can "suspend" your Social Security Number.

“There are also numerous other scams where an individual will call and say they are with a Law Enforcement Agency or with a court and claim that you have a warrant for your arrest and they will cancel the warrant if you pay so much money. No Law Enforcement Agency or Court would ever call to tell you that you had a warrant and demand money to take care of it.

“The common denominator with these scams are usually 3 things:

1) The number they call from is a local number or a number with a legitimate agency.

There have also been reports around the State of Ohio where people have received these scams with phone numbers to the actually Law Enforcement Agency showing up on the caller ID. These numbers are "spoofed" from programs that allow someone to use their own phone and make any number appear on the caller ID that they like.

2) They claim that something is in trouble (Your "account", you have a warrant, etc).

3) They all want money to take care of the trouble (either debt card numbers, bank account numbers, money orders, etc).

“Here are some tips to take when you receive one of these calls:

1. Just hang up. Do not give ANY information to them.

2. If you think it may be legit, as in creditors, ask them to send something to your residence through the mail. If they are legit, they will.

3. If you just cannot tell if it is a scam, contact your local Law Enforcement Agency and run it by them and ask their opinion.”