For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 07, 2019
Incident: Man Scammed Out of Money In Social Security Phone Scam
Location: Melville
Date/Time: February 28, 2019 and March 1, 2019

Suffolk County Police Second Precinct Crime Section officers are investigating an incident during which a Melville man was scammed out of more than $1,000 by a caller who stated he worked for the United States Social Security Administration.


Wayne Chertoff, 67, received a phone call on February 28 from a woman who stated she worked for the United States Social Security Administration and 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 Chertoff’s caller ID with a legitimate telephone number for the United States 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 Anyone who believes they may be a victim of a scam is asked to contact police.


Authority: Geraldine Hart, Commissioner 19-137048
Suffolk County Police Department

To report a crime anonymously, call 1-800-220-TIPS or text “SCPD” and your message to CRIMES (274637) or visit You may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000 if your tip results in an arrest.