It can’t be said enough: “You will never be required to pay for anything via prepaid debit card.”

Who Is It Targeting: California retirees

What Is It: A spoofed call that claims you owe money to your retirement fund

What Are They After: Retirees in California have now been warned about repeated scam phone calls claiming the victim owes money to the state’s retirement fund. Failure to make payment means your pension will be cut off, a scary thought for unsuspecting individuals on a fixed income. The clincher is this: payment MUST be made via prepaid debit card, which is a tell-tale sign of a scam.

How Can You Avoid It:

  • NEVER make payment to someone who calls you and claims you owe money.
  • Instead, take their information and call the organization yourself using a contact method that you looked up, not a number the caller provided (it could lead right back to their phones).
  • There is no legitimate reason why you will ever be required to make a payment of any kind using a reloadable gift card, prepaid debit card, or another untraceable payment method.

If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here. For full details of this scam, check out this article from