Phone scammers posing as US Social Security Administration agents are calling people and demanding that they pay a bond to avoid being taken to jail.
The scammers claim that your Social Security number has been associated with fraudulent activity and you must pay the ‘bond’ immediately or police will be sent to arrest you. The bogus agents promise that the bond will be refunded once the fraud issue has been resolved.
In some cases, the initial scam caller will instruct you to hang up and wait for a call from the police. Soon after, a second scammer, posing as a law enforcement officer will call and reiterate the claim that you will be arrested if you do not pay the supposed bond straight away.
The bond payment tactic described above is just one of many ruses used by phone scammers. And, while this particular tactic describes phone scams currently occurring in the United States, very similar scams target people all over the world.
Some versions claim that there are outstanding warrants against you and you must pay a fee immediately or police will be sent to arrest you. Other versions claim that you have missed jury duty and must pay a fine over the phone to avoid arrest or further legal action.
Alternatively, the scammers may claim that you will be arrested for tax evasion of you do not immediately pay the supposed tax debt.
The scammers may demand that you provide your credit card details to make the supposed payments. Alternatively, they may instruct you to go out and purchase a pre-paid debit card and then call back with the card details.
And, more commonly in recent years, the scammers may claim that you must pay using a store gift card from companies such as Apple. They will demand that you purchase the gift cards from a local store and then call back with the reference number on the back of the cards. Scammers like the gift card tactic because such cards can’t be easily traced back to offenders.
No legitimate government or law enforcement agency will ever cold-call people and demand that they pay money to avoid being arrested. Nor would any legitimate agency ask people to make a payment using a store gift card. LongReportAd] Phone scammers are often very skilled at impersonating government agents and police officers. And the intimidating language they use and the threats they make can certainly frighten some vulnerable members of the community into complying. If you have family or friends who you think may be vulnerable, it would be wise to let them know how these phone scammers operate so they will be forewarned.