The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs is warning residents about a new social security scam.
As part of the new scam, people are posing as social security employees or law enforcement officials and telling people they're about to be arrested because their social security number is connected with a drug crime in a border state.
“Residents said they were told their Social Security numbers were somehow traced to a seized car filled with drugs. Sometimes scammers say there was also blood or a body at the scene, just to make the call more jarring,” said Sheryl Harris, Director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs.
“People are told they need to make a payment to head off the arrest or keep their benefits flowing. This is not how our justice system works," Harris added.
The Department provided the following tips to avoid being scammed.
- Don’t answer calls you aren’t expecting, unless they’re family. If you accidentally pick up a robocall, hang up.
- Don’t trust caller IDs. Numbers can be spoofed.
- Delete vague or threatening voicemails. Do not call the numbers back—you’ll only get more calls.
- If you worry about the status of your Social Security account, contact the agency in person or by calling 1-800-772-1213.
- Know that legitimate government agencies will never ask you to pay using an e-currency account (for example, Bitcoin), Google Play or other gift cards, mailed cash or money wires.
- If someone calls to tell you that you’re about to be arrested, hang up! It’s a scam. Police don’t warn people they are on the way to arrest them.
Residents in Cuyahoga County can report scams to the Scam Squad at 216-443-7226 or by clicking here.