Fraud

Beware of Scams During this Holiday Season

December 22, 2020 • By

Beware of Scams During this Holiday SeasonWe continue to receive reports about scam phone calls and emails from people claiming to be Social Security employees. Don’t fall for it. Those calls and emails are from scammers trying to trick you into providing personal information or money, and often threaten their victims with arrest. This holiday season, we ask that you remain extra vigilant of these fraud tactics.

While our employees are conducting most business by phone due to the pandemic, we want to remind you that our employees will never:

  • Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee.
  • Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card.
  • Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem.
  • Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If you owe money to Social Security, we will mail you a letter explaining your rights, payment options, and information about appealing.

If you receive a suspicious call or email, or you’re unsure of the identity of someone who claims to be from Social Security:

Please share this message with your family and friends — because scammers never take a holiday break.


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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Comments

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  1. joseph ferolito

    i tried to notify the office of the
    attorney general twice unsuccessfully, when i received these phone calls

    Reply
    • Sue

      Hi, Joseph. Thanks for reading our blog and for your comment. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams – misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems – have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls to SSA’s Office of the Inspector General. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this information is useful.

      Reply
  2. Jerry Creno

    Hello, are you for extra money? Write me at mail jarocerno@gmail.com or leave your e-mail adress here.

    Reply
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  3. Reinaldo Santos

    Can a brother report fraud with the social security funds of a family member suffering from schizophrenia when they are being scammed with calls to donate their money for a hungry person in Nigeria?

    Reply
    • Kenny O., Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for checking in with us, Reinaldo. You can report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Doug Stephen

    I had a call from 877-637-8387 Scam?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Doug, thanks for checking in with us. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. To see if Social Security is trying to reach you, you can call your local office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
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    Reply
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  8. Samuel Dozal

    I had my kids all year I have been getting benefits for them how do I claim them in my second stimulus check

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Samuel, thanks for using our blog. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), not Social Security, issues the Economic Income Payments. Social Security cannot answer EIP questions about your specific situation. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for more details. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  9. Robert Mott

    Do you typically have five day deadlines?

    If a funeral home notified you of the death directly, why do you need the death certificate, birth certificates, and sealed marriage license?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      For your security, Robert, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  10. Aniket Patil

    Thank you for this informative post. I have used these tips and found them really useful.

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    Reply

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