PHOENIX, ARIZ — The Social Security Administration (SSA) had bad news for Mary Kulick.
"32 bank accounts opened with my social security number that involved fraud," she said.
At first she didn't buy it. Then someone called from what appeared to be a police number and it started to seem real.
"They were going to arrest me unless I could prove to them that I did not open these accounts," she said.
In the last two weeks alone so many of you letting me know scammers are trying to trick you by mentioning your social security number and claiming it will be frozen or suspended because of suspicious activity.
But that is not how the agency works.
The SSA will not call to threaten you, arrest you, or anything else. Regardless of whether you think it's real or not--hang up and contact the agency directly.
Something Mary wishes she had done. Instead, she ended up buying $1,000 in gift cards.
And once she gave them the numbers on the back that money was cash in the scammers pockets.
It's an expensive lesson she wants you to learn.
"Just hang up. No matter what they say, just hang up," she advises.
To get in touch with real Social Security Administration you can call 1-800-772-1213.