Frauds & Scams, General, Online Services

Don’t Stand by … Speak Up!

August 20, 2015 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

A concerned woman on the phoneAugust is National Bystander Awareness Month. As a bystander, you can play an essential role in preventing violence, wrongdoings, and fraud. Have you ever witnessed something that you knew was wrong and wondered if you should report it? Did you want to say something, but didn’t because you were afraid of negative consequences? Don’t be afraid, because there are federal laws to protect you.

Reporting information or activity that you suspect is illegal, dishonest, or false is your right. Reportable violations could be abuse of authority, gross waste of funds, a specific danger to public health or safety, or gross mismanagement.

Social Security’s programs were originally created to serve the American public, and 80 years later they still provide critical support to people of all ages. As good stewards of the tax dollars you entrust to us, we design our systems to protect the program against fraud, waste, and abuse.

But, our systems can’t catch everything. And that’s where you can help.

We need you to help us detect and deter fraud, waste, and abuse. Reporting wrongful acts can save lives and taxpayers dollars. Don’t let illegal or dishonest behavior happen on your watch. Learn what we are doing to fight fraud and how you can report fraud.

For more information about whistleblower protections, go to our OIG’s website.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Chris W.

    I am trying to figure out if what is going on is fraud or not. My Father just passed away. He lived in montana with some friends in a small trailer and was very much disabled. Almost three years ago his wife, whom had been seeing another man, decided to throw my father out and leave him while he was in the hospital recovering from surgery. He ended up living with some friends in Texas then was shuffled to a friends home in Georgia and finally ended up in Montana for the last year and a half. While living her new boyfriend she had continuedd to withdraw half of his disability every month. Approx. 3-4 months ago he was in the hospital and was moved to a rehabilitation center. They called me becasue his wife told them I was his only surviving relative and she was not going to be responsible, because she thought he may owe money. So on his death bed they called me and I went to Montana and paid for his final arrangements. She is now spreading a lot of lies about how they were still in love and shes going to ge this benmefits and looking for a lawsuit anywhere she can dream one up. Isn’s that fraud?

    • Comp.bil

      It is fraud but if you tell that story to any one else they are going to label you as a disgruntled relative. You need to do a little due diligence and find out how long he was abused,and who was involved.If you contact S.S. and talk to them about spousal abuse, and fraud, think someone will want to know who was signing his checks while he was not in residence !

  2. Dale B.

    Dale Bainbridge on February 11, 2016 at 5:53 pm said:

    At the time I applied for SSI,I had severe back,hip and knee problems and could no longer work.I became homeless because I could not pay my rent.I lived in my car for 8 months,then with a stranger for about a year.I was then diagnosed with AML Leukemia.5 months before my court date,my lawyer convinced me to waive my back pay and she would talk a judge into reading my case and approving me early because of the cancer.Worse mistake I ever made.I lost nearly $30,000.!!3 months later I got my 1st monthly check and a HUD low income apt. For that I am thankful.But I regret giving up the backpay that could have fulfilled my dream of maybe buying an old farmhouse and having some chickens and a garden.If there was any way to reverse the waiver I would do it in a heart beat.I`m 61 yrs. old and would like to be happy the years I have left…

  3. Richard F.

    I worked for 23 years for Georgia state government and I have never been arrested or had a speeding ticket for that matter. I also worked for a short time with my 23 years working for state government with the state police which requires a stringent back ground check that takes up to 1 year to complete and most applicants don’t pass it. I am a brain tumor survivor and not all of the tumor was removed from my left frontal lobe which has made me disabled. I have witnessed things I never thought I would ever witness from a public servant and remember I myself was one for 23 years and I took my ethics and codes of conduct serious. I spoke out against a Psychologist and had my SSI taken from me along with a threatening letter saying in 3 years they will take away my SSD. What has happened to this nation?.

    • Comp.bil

      you need to contact the office of you political Representative ,whether Senator or Ho-Rep the both have people, who work with issues like this for their constituents…

  4. Richard S.

    Believe possible fraud by businesses offering body braces, since they offer ” We will take care of all your paperwork, etc. with Medicare.” Possibly no out of pocket monies from you. Possibly provide a doctor to sign your paperwork if your own will not.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Richard, thank you for your concern. If you suspect Medicare fraud, we encourage you to report it.

  5. BobP

    New Subject re Privacy and Disclosure of Personal information to Private Companies by the SSA and/or Medi Care soliciting business to supply and sell medical wares and prosthetics etc. I am tired of receiving daily phone calls from these Organizations that are not Government representatives who know me by my name and probably have my SS # too besides my residence. Someone in OIG, SSA and OPM need to look into this Privacy issue violations. I never signed a waiver allowing any Government Personnel to release my personal data.

    May I also say that a number of these calls the people at the other end sound like their are from India and others you can hardly understand that they have such a thick accent.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Bob, rest assured that your Social Security records are confidential and that we do not disclose information about any individual to other agencies or private companies, unless we have proper authorization or consent. Thanks!

    • Comp.bil

      Bob If any of those people call you again, ask them for their Federal employers #. More times than not they will hang up and not bother you again. If they are brave enough to give you a number, ask for registered owners name and address.

  6. Mary W.

    Hello, my name is mary. My husband and I began receiving social securitiy and ssi in 1993, my ssi was only about 66 dollars, because I was married. I could not deal with living out of this. So in 2010, I founded a job, was sure rather I could do or not, but I tried, cause we had to lived and have a place to live. I call in to ssa on 8/2010 to let them know when I would begin working. they claim they would send me forms to file out. They did not come, so I call back. I was told to give them a bout five to ten business days. I did, it still did not come, so I call Baltimore, and they contact ssa in my town. I still did not get the papers. In 2013 I was told they needed all my check stubs from 9/2010. It cost me thirty dollars to get the copies. They told me,ssa, that they was cutting off my and my husband ssi and ssa, checks. they only took the ssi, checks which was 153 a month. they begin to take 78 dollars out of his ssa checks. I apeal because we could not afford this. They agreed to the appeal, but then they said my husband owe them over 14,000 dollar. he will finish paying them in 2026, my husband is 70 do the math. So you tell me what to do, when SSA is always right and never make mistakes. Thank you, for listening.

  7. JOSUA L.

    My father died on 2010 and we have a US SSS card but i lost it. How we know my father is truly member of US SSS? can you found her name of list in US SSS ? ALEJANDRO MALOBO LIRAG my father name.

    • BobP

      You don’t get any benefits and shouldn’t.

  8. Aaron

    Hello I was wondering if you can help me with the Richmond payment center in California. For some reason they will not give the names or phone numbers to there managers or superiors. Please help, thank you so much for your time.

  9. MJean

    Yes – Family & Friends are Most Important!
    Because in the end, government lets you down!!
    Example: Medicare pays Much Less than private insurance, so patient care is Much Less.
    And yes – this is my personal experience!!!

    • HunterSThompson

      and WAYYY cheaper than private insurance. 104.90/mo. ? ill take that for roughly 80 % coverage. I work and pay 3 times that, and rarely get coverage that good.

  10. Tony S.

    RE: Health and Welfare. 9th Draft. Hospitals & Asylums HA-26-7-15

    Not to trigger the toxic kneejerk countermeasures waste, fraud and abuse brings on in the psychological warriors of a tricked out two party system invoked by this unskillful article. These problems ,including organized criminal deprivation or relief benefits, i.e. continuing disability review, are too severe in FEMA to immediately treat upon Disaster Insurance and the Emergency Food Bank System without adequate moral preparation. Too bad, the Emergency Food Bank is the way to save. There is now a Section 111a Free Government Cell Phone, Discount Internet and Computer.

    Continuing disability review is waste, fraud and abuse personified. Charged with theft it is even more bureaucratically dangerous than politicized ineffective subversive “welfare fraud” offices. When dealing with crime, or when writing the law, it absolutely essential not to make or routinely use political institutions in honor of such an unsolved problem or personating the only meaningful phrase in the law.

    The proper way to process malfeasance is with a published legal brief that avoids service upon politically violent defendants ,inferior courts and pen traps. For instance, Rachel Carson ,wrote Silent Spring, to fight against indiscriminate pesticide use while secretly dying from breast cancer of unknown etiology. Her science may not have penetrated the USDA that is worse than ever in all regards, but the stressed out National Organic Program, but aside from keeping her cancer secret, and lobbying Congress, her book writing is what we want from the martyrs who lead us to right living.

    I realize Social Security Matters may have been created with Timothy’s warning that the law is for murderers, rapists and sodomists, but those sorts of persecutions are exactly what we are trying to protect against by reading and writing the law in almost all of our dealings with other humans. The important thing for Social Security Matters to understand is that they receive evidence from the public and if they want to do a good job and keep their head above water, they have a responsibility to respond to individual complainants and also a responsibility to formally respond to the popular opinions expressed in the blog.

    SSA has struggled long and hard to regain their right to write after that illegal toxic overpayment notice in 2011. Unredressed, we have come to think that SSA’s problem is that they cannot read. We do not want pen trap offices for killing bills. Bloggers submitting evidence want individual email responses and legal cases not criminal political institutions. Case in point, we need Social Security Matters to cover my 9th Edition of Health and Welfare to assure Congress of SSA support for the passage of the DIRT and OASDI WILL Acts that will save the DI Trust fund, finance the USPS and in 2017 balance the federal budget.

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