BLACKBERRY TOWNSHIP – A resident of the 39W400 block of Herrington Boulevard, Blackberry Township, reported losing $4,700 from 10 gift cards March 7 in a Social Security scam, according to Kane County Sheriff’s reports.
The victim told police that someone posing as a Social Security employee told him if she did not pay the money, he would be arrested for a crime her social security number was linked to, reports stated.
The man told her she needed to empty out her bank accounts that were attached to her Social Security number – and if she was arrested for the crime he was investigating, all her accounts would be frozen and emptied, reports stated.
She was told to go to Walgreens and buy Google Play Gift Cards for $500 and for $200 and give him the pin numbers, reports stated.
She was then told to go to another store and buy more gift cards. So she went to a CVS in Geneva and bought four $500 gift cards and again gave the man the pin numbers.
She questioned the man as to whether this was a scam. He told her if it was a scam, he would be asking for her bank account numbers and social security number, and that made sense to her at the time, reports stated.
He then sent her to another store to buy more gift cards because she needed to empty out her bank account completely, reports stated.
So she went to the Jewel-Osco in St. Charles and bought four $500 gift cards and gave the man the pin numbers, reports stated.
She was sent to yet another store, this time the Jewel-Osco in Batavia, where she slipped an employee at the service desk a note asking where the area code was for the man she was talking to on her cell phone, reports stated.
The worker looked it up and told her it was Seattle, reports stated.
Another service desk employee told her it sounded like a scam when she was trying to buy more gift cards and told her to hang up – which she did, reports stated.
According to the Federal Trade Commission website, www.consumer.ftc.gov, people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration call and say your number has been suspended because it’s been involved in a crime or due to suspicious activity.
According to the FTC, sometimes they say your bank account is about to be seized but to keep it safe, put it on gift cards and give him the codes.
The FTC advises consumers that the Social Security number is not about to be suspended and no one will ever call to threaten your benefits or to wire cash, send cash or buy gift cards.
Anyone who receives one of these calls is asked to tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.