Dear Heloise: There is a huge scam taking place that you and your readers need to be aware of to protect yourselves. The callers are scammers who claim to be from the Social Security Administration. They might tell you all sorts of things, such as new cards are being sent out and they just need to check your Social Security number to make certain that you get your card.

Always remember, Social Security will never:

Threaten you.

Suspend your Social Security membership.

Demand payment immediately.

Require any kind of payment by cash, wire transfer or gift card.

If you receive a call, text or email that is suspicious:

1. Hang up.

2. DO NOT return a call, text or email from unknown sources.

3. DO NOT give out any financial or personal information, no matter what.

4. Report all suspicious calls, text and emails to This is the office of the Inspector General, where you can get even more information.

— James R., New York City

Where to write: Got a hint you want to share? Send your tips and tricks to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. Send a fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email