There is nothing sacred to scam artists. From summer jobs and jury duty, to grandparents and puppies, scammers will use anything to separate you from your money. And now they're targeting 9/11 survivors.
After prompting from prominent U.S. senators and congresspeople, the Federal Communications Commission is now warning New Yorkers that scammers are using the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund in an attempt to con consumers.
September 11 Scam Artists
According to the FCC, scam artists are using spoofed caller ID to fake phone numbers with New York area codes. Then the callers tell unsuspecting targets they may be entitled to money as part of compensation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. They only ask for your Social Security number, mailing address, bank account number, medical history, and any proof you lived or worked in the 9/11 exposure zone, near the World Trade Center in the early 2000s.
The FCC advises that the Victim Compensation Fund will never request a full Social Security number or credit card number over the phone, and if you suspect anything fishy about a supposed call from the fund, hang up and call them directly: 1-855-885-1555.
"This cruel and illegal scam, which preys upon the victims of 9/11, adds to the already significant emotional and financial toll on 9/11 survivors and responders," said U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy from Connecticut and U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Corey Booker from New Jersey in a letter to the FCC and Federal Trade Commission requesting an investigation into the 9/11 scam calls. "It is critical that the FTC and FCC conduct a swift, aggressive investigation and bring these callous lawbreakers to justice for their despicable acts."
Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney, Jerrold Nadler, and Peter King from New York also asked the FTC to look into spoofed victim fund calls. So be on guard if you live in the New York area, and hopefully the FTC and FCC can track down these bad actors before they cause more harm.