Frauds & Scams

Don’t Let Scammers Prey on Your Generosity

September 12, 2016 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

natural disastersNatural disasters bring out the best in people. The ever-present generosity of Americans is front and center right now, as we try to help the victims of the Louisiana flood. Millions have given their time and donated to the relief funds and charities.

Unfortunately, times like these also bring out people looking to profit from others’ misfortune. For example, by creating fake charities and devising other ways to take advantage of donors.

Social Security commends your giving spirit, but we want to make sure your information is safe. We’ve cautioned you before that scammers use dishonest methods to gain access to your information. Charity scams are one of these schemes.

Charity scams can take many forms, including phishing emails that contain links or attachments directing users to malware-infected websites, which can damage your computer and put your information at risk.

The Federal Trade Commission is urging everyone to be careful when donating to charities that claim to benefit the victims of the Louisiana flood. When choosing a charity, you should do proper research to make sure they’ll use the money for what they say they will. You should donate to reputable charities sanctioned by the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance.

Avoid phishing scams and malware on your computer by not opening emails with links or attachments unless you know who sent them.

Don’t fall victim to scammers looking to take advantage of your generous spirit. Our previous blog entry shows you how to stay in control of your information. For more information, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information page and check out our website.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Lakeesha

    I got a call hat said they were from the social security office and they are issuing a warrant for my arrest and I just hung the phone up

  2. Linda S.

    I received a voice mail claiming to be from Social Security at 12:57 today, 1/8/2020

    The number was 214 225 9774.

    “No Benefits. You need to callus immediately.”

  3. Sondra H.

    I just received a phone call from Social security saying g my card was suspended.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Sondra. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  4. Maria C.

    I need help!!! my dad is being scammed by a woman out of the country. He sends all of his SSA benefits to her and he has no money left for food, clothes or otherwise. He is 74 y.o. and his mental faculties are okay, just blinded by a woman much younger professing her love as long as she gets the money. How can I stop my dad from ending up on the streets again because he can’t feed or cloth himself?

    • Luis A.

      Hi Maria. Thank you for your question. Social Security takes reports of fraud very seriously. If you suspect fraud, go here to learn what information you need to submit a fraud report. We hope this helps.

  5. Robin A.

    If my background has and still is breached, how might I protect myself and Daughter who is linked to my background. How can I get real legal aid to retrieve where, why, and how this took place and how might I receive legal aid to gain back the damages and financial lost at this point. Can I take on line classes where I can learn how to better protect my assets and my family assets, my background and be my aware of scams? I really need legal aid at this point, my background has caused physical and mental damages to me and my daughter and we only would like compensation to all this life time damages and learn how to secure ourselves from this taking place again. And it’s still taking place with my tax return that I just received. We are so worn out from this. Please help.

  6. Margaret W.

    A male voice on my cell phone voicemail says: “We have suspended your Social Security Number due to suspicious activity. Press 1 to continue”. I hung up the phone, went online to whitepages reverse phone and searched for 508-815-4042. Other people received this phone scam too.

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