Watch out for scammers in the U.S. to impersonate social security officials

Source: Luke Barr Release Time: 06:40:53 2020-03-04

The United States Marshals have issued a warning this Christmas season about a new scam involving the caller impersonating a social security officer and telling the person receiving the call that the U.S. Marshals will break down their door if they don't pay up.

It's an all too familiar call these days -- someone calls pretending to be from the Social Security office claiming identity theft, but in order to make it whole, the recipient of the call has to go to the bank and get all their money out and pay -- or else.

This happened to a Washington state man, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution from the callers, who told ABC News he was on the brink of handing them over $100,000. That was the man's entire life savings and business account.

The man received a call from someone claiming to be calling from the Social Security Administration and said that a rented car in his name was found in Texas with drugs in it and that he might have been a victim of identity theft. The lie continued when the fake officer on the other end of the phone said that he could be found guilty of 'very serious' charges and even provided a fake badge and case number.

"He [then] asked me to go to the bank and withdraw my funds because of this fraudulent activity under my Social Security number," the Washington state man told ABC News. "He said anything. All accounts under that Social Security number are going to be seized."

Gavin Duffy, the Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal in Spokane, Washington said that the Marshals are responsible for the "enforcement arm of the judicial branch."

"The U.S. Marshal Service, actually the oldest federal law enforcement agency and how I tell people is that we are basically the police for the judicial branch of the government. We enforce all things that the judges decide. So that means federal warrants, bringing federal prisoners to court, to their court, hearing their sentence," Kent also explained.

Duffy also stressed they'd never ask for money over the phone.

"It's important that if they think this is happening to them, they are welcome to reach out to our local office or come down to the courthouse and we will clarify with them and give them the peace of mind. They need to know that that they're not in financial or legal jeopardy," Duffy told ABC News.

Duffy stressed that if one is actually accused of a crime, the U.S. Marshals would show up in person make the arrest and not give advanced warning.