Frauds & Scams

Does It Sound Too Good To Be True?

March 9, 2017 • By

Last Updated: June 30, 2021

woman looking at computer Have you heard the expression, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”?  That is a good rule of thumb to spot a scam. Educating yourself is the best defense against fraud, identity theft, and scams. National Consumer Protection Week, sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), takes place March 5 to 11, 2017. It’s the perfect time to learn about and share ways to make informed choices and protect yourself. To learn more or to get involved, visit the FTC website.

Social Security strives to provide world-class service. One element of superior service is to share information about scams concerning Social Security that are currently circulating.

A current email scam invites people to take advantage of “a little known Social Security contract” which enables you to receive “little known benefits.” Think that sounds too good to be true? It should — there is no “little known Social Security contract.”

What are some clues that scams might not be legitimate? They insist that the situation is urgent and issue warnings. They try to convince you to act now to avoid a dire consequence. They promise a deal or secret that the public doesn’t know about. They come from organizations unknown to you. They offer things the government doesn’t want you to know, but they don’t come from a .gov website.

The FTC’s website maintains a list of scams in the news. You can sign up to be notified by email when new scams surface. You can also get free consumer education materials and read the latest from consumer protection experts. Stay well informed by visiting the FTC scam alert page.

Social Security takes scams and fraud seriously. It’s in your best interest to find out about scams and how they work so you won’t fall victim to one yourself. Protect yourself by learning how to avoid scams and fraud. You can search for “identity theft” or “phishing scam” on our website to learn more about how to protect yourself. Then you’ll be the one who knew it sounded too good to be true. We help secure your today and tomorrow by providing you valuable information to guard against fraud. You can learn more about the ways we fight fraud at


See Comments

About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. red l.

    You actually make it appear so easy with your presentation but I in finding this matter to be actually one thing that I feel I’d by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m taking a look forward for your subsequent post, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

  2. Lindsay

    hi!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I need an expert on this area to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  3. lesly f.

    I need to know the difference between SSI and social security for disable people this is for mr ray Fernandez,public affairs specialist.

    • Ray F.

      The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is a needs-based program that pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. SSI benefits are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities, who meet the financial limits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, on the other hand, are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits. For more information on the difference between Social Security disability and SSI, check out We hope this helps!

  4. America

    Nice post. I discover some thing far more difficult on unique blogs everyday. It’ll normally be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a bit one thing from their store. I’d prefer to utilize some with the content on my blog regardless of whether you do not thoughts. Natually I’ll provide you with a link in your net weblog.

  5. Ruben

    You take care of people with my money. Shame on you.

  6. Ruben

    I( would 50just be happy to get what I paid into. I only get 150.00 Im suppose to get about 1300.00

  7. irishlass

    For Mr. James Brown: contact the Area Agency on Aging where you live for information on aging and long term care programs available in your area. While the AAA itself may not provide repairs they may know of area handyman services or nonprofit agencies that could help. You can find your local AAA by contacting Eldercare Locator, the national helpline for aging services. This helpline is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging: Call toll free: 1-800-677-1116.
    Good luck.

  8. Del M.

    I go along with the above comments. We have already paid the Federal once, then we retire and have to pay it again. What a country we live in.!!??

  9. maggie

    when is the old law going back into effect ie when you retire at 66 you can earn as much as you want and not pay income tax on Social Security benefits??????

    This is so not right that i have to pay income tax on Social Security benefits….Social Security money is NOT earned income so why is it taxed? It’s my money that i saved all those years of working! Change the law!

    • Ray F.

      Hi Maggie, if you work and are full retirement age or older, the amount you make at work will not affect your Social Security benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you were born January 2, 1943, through January 1, 1955, then your full retirement age for retirement insurance benefits is 66. Generally, if you continue to work while receiving retirement benefits, your monthly benefit amount could increase. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. However, everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security taxes. Also, some people have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security benefits. This usually happens only if you have other substantial income (such as wages, self-employment, interest, dividends and other taxable income that must be reported on your tax return) in addition to your benefits. For further income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. Thanks!

  10. Ruben

    IJ worked 12 years as a mailman,28 years as an LAPD 3 years in the Army. I was intitled to 1600 a month,but because I earned a pension. I get 169.00 a month. I earned my pension and my SS. A lot of people on SS did not

    • Ray F.

      The Windfall Elimination Provision. This rule affects individuals that are receiving pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies). Visit

Comments are closed.