One of the unfortunate constants that have existed in human history is scamming. There have always been those working hard to swindle people out of what they worked so hard for themselves. And, unfortunately, a new scam has been discovered that can long-term harm.

A report from ABC11 in North Carolina reveals one of the several variations of the scam making the rounds that targets people’s social security accounts.

The way it works is that someone calls claiming to be from the Social Security Administration and says there’s a problem with your account. The scam continues by stating the problem is forcing the government to suspend the subject's social security number and open a lawsuit.

In order to fix the issue, the target has to call another number to provide account information and make a payment to rectify this problem, usually by gift card or wire transfer. Some of the scammers have even been able to spoof the SSA number to sell the "legitimacy" of the call.

The problems with this that are clues it’s a scam call is, firstly, that no one gets a call from any government agency without warning, as has been the case here.

Second, no government agency would actually accept payments from gift cards or wire transfers.

Third, and perhaps most important, Social Security numbers can’t actually be suspended. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) confirmed this in a series of tweets earlier this month, clarifying that payments to “reactivate” SSNs are scams.

The FTC also made sure to clarify that some of these scammers will ask for the same information and payment under the pretense of owing the government money. And given that it’s still tax season, this is a busy time of year for those scammers.

So next time someone calls claiming problems with your Social Security number out of the blue, just hang up.

Social security scam
A new phone scam could threaten your Social Security number. Rep. John Larson (D-CT) speaks during an event to introduce legislation called the Social Security 2100 Act. Mark Wilson/Getty Images