Ocean City Police officials are warning residents and visitors about an ongoing phone scam that attempts to gain money from unsuspecting persons.

Officials say the caller claims to be from the Social Security Administration or a local, state or federal law enforcement agency. They then tell the person that their Social Security number was used to open numerous accounts or is involved in some sort of illegal operation. They tell them that to protect their money or avoid arrest that they must send various sums of money to resolve the situation. The most common form of payment requested is Bitcoin, prepaid gifts cards or bank wire transfers.

Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro says “It is unfortunate but all too prevalent for scammers to use highly complex technology and the trust victims have for their own governmental or law enforcement agencies against them. He continued “Victims of this type of phone scam are not limited to senior citizens — these criminals are targeting every strata of society and every demographic is vulnerable.”

Officials say if you believe you have been a victim of the scam to contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov.