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Scammers posing as Social Security Administration targets Greendale, Seniors

It's a new twist on an old scheme: scammers calling senior living centers and posing as people from the Social Security Administration.

The Better Business Bureau serving Wisconsin says they've already gotten reports of the scam in Greendale. Katie Campbell is director of programming at Harbor Village Independent Living apartments.

"We put out a lot of fliers for our communications. Our building is very big so it's hard to reach every person," Campell said.

"I think they're targeted, unfortunately, because technology is not as prevalent with them. So they're used to picking up the phone and if someone says that they're the IRS or someone needing a special number, they're more likely to think that it might actually be a real situation," Campbell said.

Lisa Schiller, director of investigations for the Better Business Bureau serving Wisconsin, says that people should never give that information over the phone to someone you don't know. Caller ID names can be faked or "spoofed".

"A lot of the consumers who receive these calls are living in assisted living facilities - and some of them with cognitive disabilities. So, when they answer the phone, they may be apt to trust the caller on the other end," Schiller said.

None of the residents at Harbor Village gave out their personal information when they received calls. Staff says they are proud that they took to the scam tips so quickly.

"Everyone obviously has the best interest for our residents and their safety in mind. And we want to make sure that we're doing everything we can to make sure they're not being taking advantage of," Campbell said.

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