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. Richard C.

    Am i entitled to a free knee brace like the one i see advertised on TV? I am 81 yrs.old and on Medicare.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Richard. The Social Security Administration does not pay for medical equipment. For information about what Medicare covers, please visit Medicare‘s website or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048). We hope this helps!

  2. Carol

    This is the third year in a row, that Medicare has taken all of the Cola increase. My husband makes 4 times Social Security than I do, and now I pay only $1.00 less than his medicare cost. Anyone else have all Cola taken my Medicare?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Carol. For some beneficiaries, their Social Security increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums. The Social Security Act contains a “hold harmless” provision that protects most beneficiaries. The amount of the benefit will stay the same even though the Medicare Part B premium increases. Thanks.

  3. Donna F.

    My mom’s new Medicare card was never received. My father passed away in Feb 2018 and we have since sold the home in SEptember. My mom is in a facility called Kresson Nursing Home located in Voorhees NJ 08084. My mom has demenshia and is unable to communicate. I am the power of attorney and the facility also has these documents.
    Kresson is the one who called to ask me for the new number – I didn’t know there was even a change.
    My mom used to live at 14 Winding Way Road, Stratford, NJ 08084. All of her mail and my dads has been forwarded to my address:10 Tracy Drive Doylestown, PA. How can I get the new card? Do I have to go to Cherry Hill NJ or can I do this at my own center near Doylestown Pa? HELP

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Donna, thank you for using our blog. Because of privacy and security concerns, you will not be able to conduct Social Security business on behalf of your mother such as request a new Medicare card or change her address unless you are her representative payee. Having a power of attorney, being an authorized representative, or having a joint bank account with your mother does not authorize you to access information on her Social Security record. If your mother does not have a representative payee and she is not capable of managing and directing her Social Security benefits, someone should consider applying to be her payee. To learn more about becoming a representative payee, you can read our publication, “A Guide for Representative Payees” or visit our Representative Payee webpage. You can also call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to request an appointment.

  4. Dann

    That was 1993. It would be eight years during which time
    Simon still lived and worked in an art gallery
    an women’s jewelry hour away before the project was advanced enough that he could
    move in.

  5. Lasonya

    Bank records showed that since January 2011, the dealer wrote 75
    checks to her or her husband for amounts of up to $47,400, the complaint said.

  6. RHM

    Why is it so difficult to find how to change address for medicare mailings to me from medicare ? I have sent out notices to everyone I know & still receive mail tagged by post office for wrong address even for groups I know I have notified. Instructions say to go to ‘profile’ page & it did not work. I am disabled vet & meds have control of my mind, but do feel I handled this simple operation correctly with no results. Why does this have to be so frustrating, C.O.A. should be simple.

  7. Donna L.

    If my SS Disability is approved, will my Medicare be free or will I still have to pay the premiums?

    • Tom

      No it’s not free! 100.00 and something dollars a month!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. John T.

    COMMUNICATIONS? If your reported on the NTIS death list? Wouldn’t you think submitting copies of your passport and a LETTER from your local doctor would bring you back to SSDI, when NO OTHER FEDERAL SERVICE (VA(100% Service Connected Disabled), OPM,CPO, FMP ect.) has you as DEAD? And since the US and Ge have agreements, why would ANYONE have to get A STATEMENT FROM THE GE GOVT that I’m alive?

    • John T.

      adding to my issue,
      the SSA IG, was recommended to validate the death file, with another agency and document.
      Also, are new medical report would validate life. Shouldn’t this be done before stopping SSDI.
      If the Reported Individual is actually DEAD, per the SSA they would REQUIRE the DEATH CERTIFICATE, Gov’t Incld SSA Insurance claims.
      In the case of Service Disabled Vet, wouldn’t continued payment of VA Disibility Vet Doctor and TALKING TO the VET surface? Verify the Death report first. I’m Still rolling.

      “A person may be legally declared death in absentia or legal presumption of death despite the absence of direct proof of the person’s death, such as the finding of remains (e.g., a corpse or skeleton) attributable to that person. Such a declaration is typically made when a person has been missing for an extended period of time and in the absence of any evidence that the person is still alive – or after a much shorter period but where the circumstances surrounding a person’s disappearance overwhelmingly support the belief that the person has died (e.g., an airplane crash).

      A declaration that a person is dead resembles other forms of “preventive adjudication”, such as the declaratory judgment.[1] Different jurisdictions have different legal standards for obtaining such a declaration and in some jurisdictions a legal presumption of death may arise after a person has been missing under certain circumstances and a certain amount of time.”

  9. Joanne L.

    I received an email from SS indicating I need to update my password because it’s older than 6 mos. Is this true

  10. NILO

    Good job SSA for letting us know about the scamers

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