Today, I am warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19 or coronavirus-related office closures. Social Security will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed. Continue reading
Social Security phone scams are the number one type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Callers claim that you have a problem with your Social Security number or benefits and demand immediate payment from you to avoid arrest or other legal action.
Today is National “Slam the Scam” Day! What does that mean?
We created National “Slam the Scam” Day to warn Americans about widespread phone scams where callers impersonate government officials, most often Social Security, to gain your trust and steal your money. The most effective way to defeat scammers is by knowing how to identify scams, then hanging up or ignoring the calls.
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning of a new tactic by government imposters to reach — and victimize — Americans by phone. We have received reports of text messages on cell phones that appear to come from Social Security. The texts warn about a Social Security number problem. They ask the recipient to call a number back to resolve the problem and avoid legal action.
Recently, we launched a new Public Service Announcement campaign as our latest step to caution you about the ongoing nationwide telephone impersonation scheme. The videos feature a message from our Commissioner, Andrew Saul. Along with our Office of the Inspector General, we continue to receive reports about fraudulent phone calls and emails from people falsely claiming they’re government employees. The scammers play on emotions like fear to convince people to provide personal information or money in cash, wire transfers, or gift cards. Fraudsters are also emailing fake documents in attempts to get people to comply with their demands. Continue reading
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public that telephone scammers may send faked documents by email to convince victims to comply with their demands. The Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has received reports of victims who received emails with attached letters and reports that appeared to be from Social Security or Social Security OIG. The letters may use official letterhead and government “jargon” to convince victims they are legitimate; they may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes.
This is the latest variation on Social Security phone scams, which continue to be widespread throughout the United States. Using robocalls or live callers, fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account, or benefits. They may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets, or resolve identity theft. They often demand payment via retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency such as Bitcoin, or pre-paid debit card.
Inspector General Ennis urges continued vigilance against all types of phone scams no matter what “proof” callers may offer. As we continue to increase public awareness of phone scams, criminals will come up with new ways to convince people of their legitimacy. Social Security will never: Continue reading
Social Security phone scams are the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security. Over the past year, these scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Social Security encourages you to use the new online form to report Social Security phone scams to disrupt the scammers and help us reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims. Continue reading
Unfortunately, scams are a part of our current reality. Scammers are always thinking of different ways to trick their targets, coming up with various ways to try to steal your information, identity, and benefits. They depend on you not knowing about their methods.
We always say that preparation begins with information. Being informed about the latest scams and knowing the signs can go a long way toward staying a step ahead of them. Check out our infographic to learn how you can help us protect your information.
Also, stay up to date by reading our blog series on scams: Continue reading
Since 1997, Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General has worked with other divisions within Social Security to establish the Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI) Program. The CDI Program helps us identify, investigate, and prevent Social Security disability fraud before benefits are ever paid. CDI Units assist disability examiners in making informed decisions, ensure payment accuracy, and generate significant taxpayer savings, for both federal and state programs. Continue reading