Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 11, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 8


Mountain View News Saturday, May 11, 2024


By Alvaro Puig

Consumer Education Specialist

The phone rings. Your caller ID says it’s the Social Security 
Administration. You hesitate. You’re not expecting a call from them, 
and you’ve heard about impersonation scams. But something inside 
you makes you pick up. And everything you’re about to hear is 
designed to scare you into doing whatever the caller says.

The caller says he’s a Social Security Admin-istration agent with an 
urgent warning: Your name and Social Security number are linked to 
serious crimes like money laundering and drug trafficking.

You’re panicked when he says there’s an ar-rest warrant for you and 
the courts want to seize the money from your bank and retire-ment 
accounts. The only way to protect it, he claims, is to buy gold. The 
agent says he’ll send someone to pick it up and will keep it safe until 
he can clear your name of any wrongdoing.

You’re in a rush because he says you must go to the bank immediately. 
You’re nervous, so the agent offers to stay on the line with you while 
you’re at the bank and tells you what to say.

You’re so stressed out. And terrified the po-lice are coming to arrest 
you. You want to take a minute to call someone, but he says you don’t 
have time. And he insists you can’t trust anyone but him.

You hesitate. It seems strange that he’s tell-ing you to buy gold. What 
if it’s a scam? You do a quick search and find that someone with the 
name he gave you is an employee at the Social Security Administration. 
But can you be sure it’s him? Maybe he’s just us-ing that name.

On the other hand, the caller ID did say Social Security Administration. 
And he does know some personal details about you. Should you go 

Stop. It’s a scam.

Anyone who tells you to buy gold, or with-draw cash, and give it to 
someone is a scammer.

Report them to the FTC at

If a caller tells you someone is coming to pick up gold or cash at your 
house, call the police.

This is an elaborate impersonation scheme to rip you off. To learn 
about others, check out our blog series, Anatomy of an Imposter 

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