SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham County Police this week issued a warning about a phone scam, this time involving an effort to get your Social Security number.
This scam is like all the others you’ve heard about. It starts with an automated call and in this case, you may see numbers on your caller ID that appear local, in some cases a number that indicates it may be a Chatham County police precinct.
A caller claims you have warrants out for your arrest in Texas. They need your Social Security number to verify your identity. Oh, and by the way if you want to avoid arrest just pay them some money.
In a nutshell that is the point of all scams – you are in trouble for some reason but paying over the phone will get you out of this problem. And that is of course what any scammer wants, i.e. for you to pay in a way that cannot be traced. That is why you may be asked to get a GreenDot card and scratch off the back which allows the person on the other end to retrieve the cash value on the card.
This scam also uses what is known as number spoofing. Susan Summers of Savannah knows all about that, saying she often receives calls from numbers that appear local.
“It bothers me because sometimes it’s a 912 number and I don’t know if that’s my family so I usually answer it,” she told us.
Summers contacted us after receiving a spoofed call that claimed it was from a local university. She was concerned that so many numbers are being disguised.
She also told us that automated calls are constant. “Every day I’m going to say I get at least five calls and on Sunday they start early in the morning.”
1) Remember the point of any scam is to get you to pay quickly
2) Take time to think
3) Never provide money over the phone to any caller
4) Chatham County Police say no one from their department will ever call you and ask for your Social Security number
5) When in doubt, hang up or better yet – do not answer your phone unless you are certain it is a legitimate caller