Mom fooled by 2 frightening twists in Social Security scam loses hundreds

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BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- It’s a scam that deputies said is the best they've ever heard. This one has two twists that are very frightening.

The target this time was not the elderly, but a mother of three in her 20s.

Laura White's phone rang Wednesday morning around 11:30.

"I thought it was crazy, there's no way," she said.

As she answered, the voice said they were with the Social Security Administration and her ID was compromised. Her Social Security number was temporarily suspended. She was told there were 11 bank accounts, as well as drug trafficking and money laundering charges with her name on them. She could be arrested with 72 hours.

Like all of us, she's had scam calls before, almost daily. She can even point to a few from the previous day.

"I know to hang up. Leave me alone, quit calling. But this sounds real."

Here's why. She didn't tell them a thing, but they knew her name, her maiden name, her Social Security number, her home address and her checking account number.

"They knew everything about me,” White said. “They knew I had three kids, which is really scary. That scares me even more."

They called back a couple times.

Finally, she called the Boyd County Sheriff's Office. At least she thought she did. The second voice confirmed everything.

"I looked that number up myself and called that local number," White said.

Finally, after several hours of going back and forth, a few different phone calls, believing it was the real thing, she went and bought several hundred dollars’ worth of prepaid Google Play cards. She was promised a deputy would meet and reimburse her later.

"This one was so real. I fell for it," White said. "I don't look at myself as someone who is an easy pushover."

But a nagging feeling in her gut led to call the sheriff’s office one more time. That’s when she was told, she had not made a single call to the actual office all day.

A genuine Boyd Sheriff's deputy came out and took the information. He told her because she made that initial phone call to the sheriff's office on a three-way call, the scammer could keep her from calling the real sheriff's office and spoof that phone call with an accomplice.

That’s part of the reason they were adamant to not hang up on them.

The deputy said it's the best scam he's heard.

"I'm nauseous. It hurts thinking that they were the people that I thought were helping me," White said.

Now she wants to share her story with the hope she can keep others safe, whether moms like her, young or old -- anyone.

“It is a nightmare,” White said. "Hopefully the right person at the right time because had I heard the story yesterday, it could have saved me a lot of trouble and a lot of crying."

Boyd County deputies tell us this is only victim of this scam that they know of. They've not been able to track down where the scammer is calling from.

One thing you can do to protect yourself is to get off the phone and directly call local law enforcement yourself.

Meanwhile, the Social Security Administration said it never makes calls like this one.



 
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