• Action 9: Woman says social security imposter tricked her out of thousands

    By: Jason Stoogenke

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Shaquella Settles got a phone call. She called back and says the person who picked up said he was with Social Security.  

    Settles says the man knew her name, address and last four digits of her Social Security number.  

    [ALSO READ: Scammers posing as Social Security officials bombard Charlotte area with calls]

    Settles says the man told her someone had committed a crime in Texas, it was tied to her SSN, and she needed a new number, but there was a charge.  

    "[He] just told me to go to the bank and take all of my money out of the bank," Settles told Action 9's Jason Stoogenke.    

    She did -- $3,000.

    Then, Settles says the scammer told her to go to a certain Harris Teeter and a certain Food Lion, buy gift cards, scratch off the backs and read him the numbers over the phone.

    "I still didn’t think nothing of it. I’m crying, upset," Settles said. 

    Eventually, she told a friend who told her the painful truth: It was a scam.  

    [ALSO READ: Scam alert: Your social security number has not been suspended]

    "When she said that, that made me question, and I called the cards and there’s no money on them," Settles. "So now I’m just out of $3,000."

    For some reason, Social Security imposters like to say a crime was committed and that it was committed in Texas specifically. Your caller ID may even have a Texas area code, but don't fall for it:  

    • Social Security won't call you out of the blue.
    • It won't ask you to pay for something using gift cards.
    • It won't stay on the phone with you or threaten you.
    • Scammers can find your name, address, phone number, and -- in a lot of cases -- the last four digits of your SSN.  That doesn't make them anymore believable.

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