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Gilroy Police are warning the public about a common phone scam after a resident recently fell victim to the fraud.

On May 14, a Gilroy resident received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, reads a press release from the Gilroy Police Department.,The resident was informed their Social Security number was being fraudulently used and an officer from the Gilroy Police Department would be calling them to take a report.

A few minutes later, the resident received a “spoof call” from the GPD non-emergency phone number, police said. The caller identified himself as a member of GPD and he told the resident in order to resolve the issue, they would need to purchase retail gift cards and provide the card numbers. The resident followed the instructions and later realized it was a scam.

Police seek to remind residents to be aware of these types of scams and to be suspicious of any telephone calls where the caller imposes a problem or crisis and the only solution is to immediately send money. The fictitious problem or crisis can include identity theft, an arrest warrant, an immigration issue, delinquent taxes, a relative in jail or a kidnapped relative, according to police. The money demanded can be in the form of gift cards or money wire transfers through private money transfer companies.

Gilroy Police also confirmed that legitimate governmental agencies will never seek or accept payments by gift cards or through private money transfer companies.

If an individual calls identifying themselves as a law enforcement officer or a representative of a law enforcement agency, and you believe the phone call is suspicious, you are encouraged to contact the law enforcement agency in question to verify the caller’s identity, police said.

Anyone with information about this investigation can call the Gilroy Police Department at (408) 846-0350.

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