About a week ago, I returned a call to what I thought was the Office of Social Security. Over the course of five hours, I lost all of my money in my personal and business accounts. I write this from a place of humility and hope that my story will save other people from going through what I can only describe as a mental and emotional rape. I am so thankful, it was only money. I am so grateful the Lord gives me the strength to walk in forgiveness and peace. I am so thankful that I am not a slave to the fear, condemnation or shame that tried to attach to me during and after this horrific experience.
I returned a call (because I had 20 minutes to kill and wanted to see what was going on) that said my social security number was going to be blocked because of fraudulent activity. Within 2 minutes of being on the phone, I was given a case number, transferred to an “officer” from the DEA who gave me his name and told me to write down his badge number. He proceeded to tell me the line we were on was being recorded and would be used in a court of law. He explained an intricate crime that involved drugs, an abandoned car and numerous accounts that had been opened in my name with my social security number. I was interrogated for the next hour and a half about my connections to Texas and the crime being described.
I was then transferred to someone who also asked me for my case number, gave me his name, badge number and continued to remind me of the seriousness of the crime at hand. He told me that my social security number was going to be blocked within the next 24 hours and all accounts in my name would be inaccessible. This would include anything I have linked to my social security number including my bank accounts. That if I did not protect my money, I would not have access to my funds for the next 7-9 years.
The next 3 hours involved multiple small steps cloaked in fear, intimidation, skepticism and confusion. Multiple times I was crying, telling him I was not going to do x, y or z. He would respond with, “that is fine, you can get off the phone now, but understand the consequences of what you are doing.” He would then tell me I could be arrested at any time for the crimes at hand, that if they found the cash on me (that I had just withdrawn from my account to protect it and have access to it) that I would appear as if I was fleeing from the crime. He reminded me that due to a privacy law that I was not to tell anyone of this case or this would also implicate me. I felt like I had a hand around my throat or a gun to my head as I voluntarily walked through each step.
As I sat crying in my car, gripped with fear this gentleman pulled out the, “Amber, we know you are a single mother and this is all you have. I have a great government job. My job is to help Americans like you who are being taken every day because of things like these. There are multiple scams out there trying to duplicate this very process, so I understand that you are confused and this is scary. I am 62, I am old enough to be your father. I just want to see you protected. I spend all of my days helping Americans like you.”
At one point in the conversation, I was crying out to Jesus and he said, “Maam, what does this have to do with religion? I am catholic. I believe in Jesus. I swear - right hand to God that this is all going to be over soon and you are going to be protected.”
There are so many more details to this story, but basically, he told me that the next day I would have an appointment set up at the Department of Social Security and I would be issued a Government Certified Voucher. That I needed to load the money onto certain “gift cards” the government uses. He used the term “US Treasury Digital Voucher”. He said this would make the money “safe” to use and put back into my accounts. He took each number, gave me a confirmation code that I was suppose to take with me the next day. Multiple times, I said I wouldn’t do it. He said, “you are so close, Amber. This is almost over. This is the first time you have been through something like this. It is late. I have a family to get to and so do you. I am here for you to see this finished and that you are safe.” So I did it. I gave him the numbers. I felt like at that moment, I just wanted the torment and torture to be over. I didn’t care either way. If it was a scam or not. I just wanted the confusion and darkness to lift and get off the phone.
He then said he would call me the next morning (because it was late) and I would be given my time to meet at the Office of Social Security. And then his voice changed. Literally, the tone of his voice changed and he began to get very aggressive as he told me that my credit cards needed to be protected next. That I would owe the max limits on my credit cards if my social security number was blocked. He said he would call me the next morning. We hung up the phone and I knew at that moment I had been taken.
I walked into my friend’s house who had been watching Berlyn for the last five hours. I lost it. I just folded myself into a sitting fetal position and just cried and cried and cried. I could not believe what had just happened. I could not believe how far he got me to go. My amazing friends connected me with someone they knew personally in the US Government Fraud Department and as I told him my story - within five minutes he told me it was a scam. Later, I checked the cards - the money is gone. There is nothing I can do. I filed an online report (literally, you fill out a form online) and tried to file a police report - but the said it wouldn’t do any good. Now, I just want to get the message out so no one else goes through what I did.
I called the number back the next day - which by the way showed us as a Washington D.C. number. No one answered, but they called me back. The voice was the same one as the “officer of the DEA” I spoke with the day before. I told him, “I am the single mother you stole all my money from yesterday. I want you to know I forgive you. I am praying for you. I love you my brother. God put you on the phone with me because he knew I would call you back and tell you about Jesus. Anything and everything that you have done can be forgiven. It is time to repent from your ways and do good with your life. I said I would continue to pray for him and claimed the blood of Jesus over the evil that had attached to him.” I hung up. I had peace in my heart.
The enemy wants me and people who hear this to get angry at “flesh and blood”. But that is not where the war is at. There is a spiritual warfare going on and the evil I experienced is unlike anything I have ever been a part of. The desperation of these men who were part of this, I can’t imagine. There life and circumstances must have been a breeding ground for evil to take root and take over. But, I was the one who stepped into the temptation. I took the bait.
I was trying to hear God’s voice - but when I was caught up in the fear and confusion I was unable to hear His voice, even though I know he was there with me every step of the way. I see how the enemy works now with greater clarity. I am better equipped for battles that lie ahead. All the enemy needs is for us to believe a twist of the truth (a lie) and take one step towards that distorted truth, and then another step, and then the next - over and over and over again. He is very patient. He will say anything. He will appear to have your best interests at heart. He will calm you and give you false security. I hate the enemy. I don’t hate the men, I hate the evil. GO TO HELL ENEMY - soon enough, that is exactly where he will be.
But the enemy wanted me to be defeated. He wanted me to cower and get lost in my shame and embarrassment. He wanted me to be gripped with fear and confusion in other areas of my life. He wanted me to curse God and question my faith. He wanted me to shut-up because he knows I talk a lot. No way. What the enemy intended for evil, God will use for good. I hope this blesses someone. I hope it prevents this from happening to you or someone you love. I hope you take a moment and pray for these men (and women) who are attached to his industry. Pray that the seeds that were planted with my words will be watered and grow into a harvest for the Lord. That more people will speak truth and light to them in the world of darkness they are living.
Thank you friends for reading. Thank you for your prayers. God is who He says He is! He’s got me and He’s got you too!