Frauds & Scams, Medicare

Don’t Be Misled by False Medicare or Social Security Ads

August 16, 2018 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: June 30, 2021

person on latptopOnline and otherwise, there’s a lot of information out there, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell what sources are credible. With millions of people relying on Social Security, scammers target audiences who are looking for program and benefit information.

The law that addresses misleading Social Security and Medicare advertising prohibits people or non-government 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).

People are often misled by advertisers who use the terms “Social Security” or “Medicare.” Often, these companies offer Social Security services for a fee, even though the same services are available directly from Social Security free of charge. These services include getting:

  • A corrected Social Security card showing a person’s married name;
  • A Social Security card to replace a lost card;
  • A Social Security Statement; and
  • A Social Security number for a child.

If you receive misleading information about Social Security, send the complete ad, including the envelope, to:

Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline
Social Security Administration
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235

You can learn more about how we combat fraudulent advertisers by reading our publication What You Need to Know About Misleading Advertising.

You can also report Social Security fraud to the Office of the Inspector General.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Rose D.

    I have not received my new Medicare card yet.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Rose. Medicare will automatically mail your new card to the address you have on file with Social Security. As long as your address is up to date, there’s nothing you need to do. Mailing millions of Medicare cards takes some time, so you might get your card at a different time than friends or neighbors in your area.
      Visit and sign up to get email alerts from Medicare. Medicare will send you an email when cards start mailing in your state. Thanks!

  2. Horace J.

    I was filling out a form to see if I would qualify for more SS allotment due to bad health. It directed me to a law firm of Lannella and Mummolo. Is this the way I should go. I just thought I should deal with SSA. Is this legitimate or should I not take their offer..

    • jjo

      The information is free. Why go to the mumbo jumbo law firm?

  3. Larry R.

    Can a law be passed that those responsible will be fined for False Medicare or Social Security Ads?
    The media should be held responsible for accepting these ads.

    • jjo

      Sure, write to your Congressman.

  4. Frank M.

    Corrected: the services checked will be very useful to me. Living on a fixed income is not so easy.

  5. Frank M.

    Thank you. The service I checked are valuable to me. The information will be very useful now that I have retired. First ed income living is not so easy.

  6. Lucia N.

    Full licit and legal my full with full regard office and scientifiqsfull my – Lucia Nicoleta Glod(Badea NandM) have receive and learn to email\message.

  7. C. L.

    I am getting lots of telephone calls from an agency professing to be the SSA they are always early in the morning and include a threat that if I do not answer or return this call I will have to pay the consequences ??

    Another Scam I think ??

    • camille v.

      don’t fall for it

      • Ray F.

        Social Security Administration (SSA) employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employee may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending.
        The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which receives and analyzes public complaints related to identity theft, recently reported to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) an increase in reports of suspicious phone calls from people claiming to be SSA employees.
        If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA or the OIG, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy (TTY number at 1-800-325-0778). Citizens may -also- report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via Thanks.

    • jjo

      Yep, a scam, ignore them.

  8. Keith B.

    I’ve asked. Just trying to get some clarity. Lots of rumors. I’m currently waiting for a decision from SSA Disability. I’ve heard everything from $750. to $2600. a month.
    Contacted local office, was informed no information could be given until determination is made. Looking for another place to live. Don’t know if I even can move,at least.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Keith. We pay disability benefits through two programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
      The SSI program is a needs-based program that pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. The Monthly federal SSI payment for an individual in 2018 is: $750.00
      The amount of your disability SSDI benefits are established based on your earnings prior to when you became disabled. If you don’t already have an estimate, you can get your Social Security Statement online with your personal my Social Security account or use our Benefit Calculators to have an idea of how much your benefit amount would be, if your claim for disability benefits is approved.
      We hope this information helps!

  9. Leslie G.

    I feel that I cannot open an online account with Social Security without losing the printed statements and other information I receive in the mail and save for years. These are necessary to me for backup in case my computer ever crashes or gets hacked. Please reconsider your policy of “going green”.

    • Linda L.

      I agree. I wish to have both as well. Thanks for all your help

    • Duane T.

      you can get both , as I do . you can manage your account and make any changes that are needed . from home , even make appointments .

    • Cheryl

      You can easily print out the statement as often as you wish. And it’s a great tool because I can see the amount going up each month.
      Just log in, and about halfway down click on
      “Print / Save your Full Statement”.
      Then in the upper right hand corner of the window, click on the printer icon.

  10. Michael W.

    I have a problem with SSI. I have sent letters to two separate offices and I have yet to get a reply. Why is that? All I am asking for is a replay. They can do that much, can’t they?
    Michael W. Vaughan AZ1 USN (Ret) Veteran

    • AKA

      What is a replay? If you are retired military your pension would be too high to also get SSI. I hope this helps.

Comments are closed.