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.
Social Security has zero tolerance for fraud; we are committed to detecting and preventing it. Our agency is diligent and proactive when it comes to protecting the information entrusted to us.
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 →
Social Security is at the forefront of keeping your online data secure, but you play a vital role in safeguarding your personal information too.
Scammers commonly target people who are looking for Social Security program and benefit information. You might receive an advertisement in the mail, but it could be from a private company or even a scammer. U.S. law prohibits people and businesses from using words or emblems that mislead others. Their advertising can’t lead people to believe that they represent, are somehow affiliated with, or endorsed or approved by Social Security or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Medicare).
If you receive misleading information about Social Security, send the complete advertisement, including the envelope it came in, to: Continue reading →
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public about a new variation of increasingly common government employee impersonation scams, this time involving the Social Security Advisory Board. The Advisory Board has reported that individuals are receiving scam phone calls displaying the board’s phone number on caller ID. The callers are reportedly attempting to obtain personal information, including Social Security numbers. If you receive this type of call, you should not engage with the caller or provide personal information or money in response to requests or threats. Continue reading →
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning citizens about a caller-ID “spoofing” scheme misusing the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) Fraud Hotline phone number. The OIG has received recent reports of phone calls displaying the Fraud Hotline number on a caller-ID screen. This is a scam; OIG employees do not place outgoing calls from the Fraud Hotline 800 number. Citizens should not engage with these calls or provide personal information. Continue reading →
Protecting your information is an important part of Social Security’s mission. You work hard and make a conscious effort to save and plan for retirement. Unfortunately, fraud and scams are a part of our current reality. Scammers try to stay a step ahead of us, but our cyber-security programs help us protect the information entrusted to us. Despite the techniques we use to thwart scams, we can’t do it alone. You can read Social Security’s joint press release with the Office of Inspector General about our new nationwide Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign. This new PSA campaign addresses these telephone impersonation schemes in a series of video and audio ads. Watch the video above and learn how you can help us protect your information. Continue reading →
The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of telephone impersonation schemes that exploit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) reputation and authority.
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continues to receive reports from across the country about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be from SSA. Recent reports have indicated that unknown callers are using increasingly threatening language in these calls. The callers state, due to improper or illegal activity with a citizen’s Social Security number (SSN) or account, a citizen will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number to address the issue. This is a scam; citizens should not engage with these calls or provide any personal information. Continue reading →
The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is warning citizens about an ongoing caller-ID “spoofing” scheme misusing the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) national customer service phone number. SSA has received numerous reports of questionable phone calls displaying SSA’s 1-800 number on a caller-ID screen. This is a scam; citizens should not engage with those calls or provide any personal information. Continue reading →