Social Security scammers try to get man to sell his own car

By Greg Collier

The following story is yet another example showing not only how low scammers are willing to stoop, but also the extremes they’re willing to go to steal money from their victims.

The story starts out like many other Social Security scams. A man from North Carolina receives a call from someone posing as someone from the Social Security Administration. The caller says that the man’s Social Security number has been connected to a drug crime in Texas. Typically, the scammers will say that they’ve found a rental car near the Mexican border that had drugs that was rented using the victim’s Social Security number. The man was then told he needed to pay a fine to avoid arrest.

The man was skeptical, but the caller said that they were going to have someone from his local police department call him. A short time later, the man received a call that appeared to be coming from his local police department. The Caller ID even said it was the police department calling. That caller reiterated what the first caller said. The phony police detective told the man that there was a federal warrant out for his arrest and that he needed to pay the fine.

Unfortunately, it was at this point that the man believed the story he was being told. The original caller called the man back and instructed the man to buy $7000 in gift cards. This happened to be all the money the man had. That wasn’t enough for the scammers, though. They told the man that he needed to sell his car to pay for the rest of the imaginary fine. They even gave him a list of local car dealerships where he could sell the car. It was at this point that a neighbor intervened and told the man that this was a scam.

It’s not unheard for scammers to try and squeeze as much money as possible from a victim. In many cases, scammers have repeatedly harassed the same victim for multiple payments. However, this is the first time we’ve heard of scammers trying to get a victim to sell their car after bleeding their victim dry of all their cash.

As we mentioned, this is a common scam that usually targets retirees who are unaware of how the Social Security Administration actually does business. They will rarely ever call you. The majority of communication from the SSA will be sent to recipients through the mail. No government agency or law enforcement agency will ever threaten to arrest you over the phone if you don’t make a payment then and there. No legitimate company, agency, or organization will accept gift cards as payment except the companies the gift cards are intended for.

If you know someone who might be vulnerable to this scam, please share our post with them or direct them to the SSA’s Scam Warning page.