It’s a scam that’s been around for a while – but it’s back.
It’s called “the imposter scam” or the “Social Security Scam.”
How it works: A scam artist will call, pretending to be a federal FBI agent.
"They warn the individual that his or her Social Security number has been compromised or linked to a crime, and they could be arrested if they do not comply with the agent's instructions," said Parrell Grossman, the director of the North Dakota Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.
Grossman said the scam artist will then tell them to buy some pre-paid gift cards, and provide to the "agent" the numbers from the back of those cards. He said the “case agent” would tell the individual he or she would use those numbers to verify the victim’s identity, and once verified, the person would get a refund, and a new Social Security card.
"These are complete fabrications," Grossman said. "It's almost impossible to get a new Social Security card."
Grossman said FBI agents are never going to ask you to pay with a gift card.
"Never give out your Social Security card under any circumstances to someone who calls you out of the blue, or e-mails you, or notifies you on a pop-up on a screen," Grossman said. "That's not how the Social Security Administration would ever contact any of us."
If you have been a victim of this kind of scam, Grossman said you can call the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-472-2600.