NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – The Federal Trade Commission says the biggest scam right now has con artists posing as the Social Security Administration.
When Wayne Chertoff’s Caller ID told him the Social Security Administration was calling, he picked up to hear a woman’s voice.READ MORE: Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Targeting Fentanyl, Meth Dealers
“She said that my Social Security number is being suspended because, in El Paso, Texas, somebody was using my name and Social Security number to send thousands of dollars to Mexico and Columbia,” he said.
It was news to him.
“She said, ‘well you have an arrest warrant out there’,” he continued.
To get rid of the “warrant”, he followed the woman’s instructions. He bought $1,400 worth of Google Play cards at this drugstore, then gave her the numbers off the back of the cards over the phone. She told him he’d get the money back.READ MORE: Affordable Housing Art Deco Style In Little Havana
“When nobody called me the following day, I knew I was screwed,” said Chertoff.
He’s one of many. Seventy-six-thousand people have complained to the Federal Trade Commission about the scam, which is already outpacing the old IRS call scam.
The FTC said that scam took in $17 million in its peak year. This Social Security call scam is already up to $19 million dollars for the year ending March 31st.
“What we have are scammers who have decided that it is too recognizable to pretend to be the IRS anymore. They know that they can’t get away with that anymore so they’ve come up with a new angle, a new twist,” said FTC’s Monica Vaca.MORE NEWS: Residents Living Near Sharp Curve Along NW 87 Terrace Fed Up With Constant Crashes
It should go without saying you should never give out your Social Security number over the phone. Now the FTC is saying do not trust your Caller ID. The say scam artists use computer software to spoof a number to make it look like they are calling from the Social Security Administration or other government agency.