The California Public Employees’ Retirement System on Nov. 2, 2017 warned retirees to watch out for a phone-based scam targeting them. Sacramento Bee file photo
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System on Nov. 2, 2017 warned retirees to watch out for a phone-based scam targeting them. Sacramento Bee file photo

The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

The State Worker

New scam targets CalPERS retirees

By Adam Ashton

aashton@sacbee.com

November 02, 2017 02:39 PM

Watch out, CalPERS retirees. A phone call that appears to come from the state’s largest public pension fund might in fact be from a scam artist.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is warning its members to look out for a scam that tells them they owe money to the pension fund.

A caller reportedly is telling retirees that they have to send money through prepaid credit cards in order to receive their pensions.

The call may appear to be legitimate at first, CalPERS said. On phones with caller ID, the call appears to come from the pension fund.

The scammer then identifies himself as representing the California Retirement Department and asks that retirees send him money.

“Please be advised that CalPERS will never cold call you to ask that you pay funds over the phone and will never ask you to pay funds via prepaid credit or reloadable cards,” CalPERS said in its warning.

It’s unclear how many people have received the calls. CalPERS sent out the warning after it heard complaints about the suspicious call, CalPERS spokesman Wayne Davis said.

Financial scams tend to target CalPERS retirees a few times a year, he said.

“It’s unfortunate but it does happen,” Davis said.

Adam Ashton: 916-321-1063, @Adam_Ashton. Sign up for state worker news alerts at sacbee.com/newsletters.