Suffolk County Police Second Precinct Crime Section officers are investigating how a Melville man was scammed out of more than $1,000 by a caller who claimed to work for the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Wayne Chertoff, 67, received a phone call on Feb. 28 from a woman who stated she worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration and that there was a warrant out for his arrest in Texas. The woman told Chertoff he could clear up the warrant if he purchased a Google Play card in the amount of $500 and provided the caller the card number. The following day, Chertoff received another call, this time from a man, who reiterated the warrant information and requested Chertoff purchase two Google Play cards, one for $400 and one for $500. Chertoff provided the caller with the card numbers.
Both calls showed “Social Security” on the Chertoffs’ caller ID with a legitimate telephone number for the Social Security Administration. The callers used spoofing software to enable the calls to appear as if they were coming from a legitimate source.
This is just one of a number of scams to which people are falling victim. The Suffolk County Police Department is reminding residents that neither government agencies nor utility companies will ask for payment of fees, fines or bills via prepaid gift cards.
For more information on common scams and how to prevent becoming a victim, visit www.suffolkpd.org. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a scam is asked to contact police.