Social Security Scam
HOW IT WORKS
1.Typically, this scam starts with a phone call where the caller says there is a problem with your social security number or account. As a result of this problem, your account/number has been suspended. You, of course, can fix the problem by giving them money. Scammers pretend to be members of law enforcement or government employees and can sound very convincing. They may threaten you with arrest, legal action, or suspension of benefits and demand immediate payment. Often, they will try to keep you on the phone and pressure you to give your personal information and/or money right away.
2. Callers may also pretend to be law enforcement. They will say a crime has been committed using your social security number, and they are warrants for your arrest. The scammers say they believe you were not involved but rather a "victim" of identity theft. However, to prove you were not involved, they need to know your bank account information. Or they will ask you to put your money on a pre-paid gift card, so they can keep your money "safe" while they clear things up. The reality of the situation is, as soon as they have your bank account information and/or gift card number, they have stolen your money.
Social Security or law enforcement may call you in some situation but will NEVER:
- Threaten you
- Suspend your social security account or number
- Demand Immediate payment
- Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer
- Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash.
KNOW THE FACTS
- Your social security account can NOT be suspended.
- Social Security, Law Enforcement, or any government agency will NEVER pressure you and demand payment. If you have a warrant out for your arrest, typically, law enforcement will just come and arrest you.
- A government agency will NEVER ask you for payment via gift card or pre-paid card. Only people trying to steal your money demand this form of payment.
WHAT TO DO
Hang up! Never give your personal information over the phone.
Never give the numbers or information from a gift card or pre-paid card to someone over the phone. Once you give the numbers, the scammer takes the money off the card immediately as if you used the card for a purchase. Money stolen this way is rarely recovered.
Ask someone you trust for advice before making any large purchase or financial decision.
Not sure if it is a scam? Contact Social Security directly, click here. Or call the Mesa County Sheriff's Office at (970) 242-6707.
To report the scam, click here.