Frauds & Scams, General, Online Services

Don’t Stand by … Speak Up!

August 20, 2015 • By

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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. b h.

    Hi Ray! Thanks for letting me know. I’m still not quite sure if this could be considered abuse, but the deed to the house she lives in has been in her father’s name until recently. Her father passed away some time ago & his will stipulated that the house will be divided between the ex-wife & my friend. There was never any deed that stated she owned the house according to county records. There was just a Quitclaim deed which the county did not recognize. But last year, that changed when she said she could no longer take care of the house & gifted it through a special deed without warranty to her brother. My co-worker claims that since she had no real claim on the house all those years and especially now, she needs to let SSA know now before things get worse. My worry is that she might be in a fraud situation maybe without knowing it and loose her money. I found out her mother can no longer support her (she gave her money every month—I don’t know how much). Any additional help you can share would be greatly appreciated since it seems she has to move out of the house she’s lived in due to her brother taking over the deed. Thanks again!

    • Ray F.

      All beneficiaries are required to report any changes that can affect their benefits, as soon as possible. Failure to report these changes may result in an overpayment or suspension of benefits. To report misuse of SSI benefits, please call 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Or, you can contact the local Social Security office. To report fraud, visit the Office of Inspector General (OIG) website at: Thanks.

  2. B H.

    Hi Ray! I hope you can answer me on something that’s
    been bothering me for a long while. I have a very good friend that’s living in a house free of charge, does pay utilities unless she overdraws her checking account which has been more frequent the older she gets & she draws SSI full amount of $735. She’s hit people up for money when she runs financially tight. She’s had to go to Consumer Credit to consolidate her credit card bills. A coworker told me that since she lives in the house free of charge, & is spending money faster than she gets from SSI, she shouldn’t receive full SSI finances. Should she be reported or at least should she contact SSA to let them know? I’m worried spitless that if she doesn’t get her 735 income, she’ll not be able to pay her utilities. Please guide us here. Many thanks!

    • Ray F.

      Hi, thanks for your question. The amount of your friend’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit is based, in part, on her living arrangements as well as any income or cash assistance from outside sources. It is important for her to let us know promptly when any change occurs that could affect her benefits. If you suspect misuse of SSI benefits, report it. Please call 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Or, you can contact the local Social Security office. Thanks!

  3. Nancy

    #CA #democrat @MaxineWaters FALSIFIED age to get SS Card (her own words on video shown here)

    This is social security fraud by a CONGRESSWOMAN – if she lied about her age to defraud social security did she get benefits earlier too and did she put her made up age on her legal declarations to run for congress? Is that election fraud too!? Will you please investigate and prosecute?

    This is unacceptable and she admitted it on video – I don’t see how she can escape prosecution.

  4. Anthony J.

    For years I have been a victim of Mail, Bank, Medical, and Social Security/ Medicare Fraud. At a late age I return to School to earn a Degree. Unfortunately I became ill.
    With the efforts that I learned during the Education Process I’ve been fighting back. I have exhausted most of my income related to travel. Trying to escape the clutches of those who persecuted me I filed complaints with CMS, SSD, HHS, FBI, DOJ and States Attorneys Generals. My Transportation efforts have been stifled by persons tracking my activities. I have been prohibited from right to work laws.
    These activities have forced me to turn to Sovereign Foreign And Domestic Nations and Consulates. I’ve contacted Interpol and Brazilian Intelligence. Here is my Question: Even with SSD would Social Security Consider an Exception and allow me to receive SSI & SSD so that I can get Medicaid and Medicare ?. I’ve received letters of support and sympathy from the Whitehouse former Health and Human Services Secretary K. Sebilius, Canadian, French, Brazilian, Venezuelan, Colombian, Costa Rica and Native American Tribal Concils. My inability to address student Debt and my attempts to request a hardship waiver have been met with interference and threats. I was blocked from submitting complaints to Adult Protective Services and yes I’ve contacted members of Congress. Due to fraud and not having gain use of Electronics I resorted to traditional mail and have documentation of numerous opening and closing of PO Boxes. This has been a long, strident Journey. It’s not over, I have an over abundance of Medical – Dental, Nutritional concerns that must be addressed in order for an emplorer to take me seriously. On 2/23 I will turn 66 years of age. Many of my productive years have been stolen. I have great safety and security considerations. I will risk the by saying FBI field Services Offices, Miami, DC, Chicago, LA, WV, background check, Secret Service Check Fraud. Did you know that during extended Stays the French offer Social Security numbers. I have contemplated ways, but even my direct deposit at First Merritt, Chase, Bank Of America and Go Direct have been Stolen, Transferred without consent not to mention loss of Housing, Furnishings, Intellectual Property and more. If you look up Social Isolation in the dictionary you would find my picture.
    Thanks for your time and attention:

  5. John E.

    Since I have applied for disability I have seen a lot of people turn against me. And nitpick every aspect of my life making my major depression worsen. I am hearing voices with the depression. And have people swearing at me, verbally abusing me, and anyone trying to help me is being manipulated/directed to work against me. There is a lot of obvious organized crime against me after my social security application. There are repetitive attempts to lure me to jail. I have not commited any crimes. I am honest and want to contribute to society. There is mass amounts of public defamation of character. Surrounding where I am staying. Disturbing the people living here on purpose. No one is reaching out to help. They are now aimed at my doctor who is always there to help me based on my symtoms I experience. And have a history of. Like a professional would. They paid a different doctor to misdiagnose my condition as bipolar with scitzoid moments. This conflicts with the CT scan showing no signs/markers of that. People were ganging up and provoking me to have a panic attack, and have trouble breathing. So my mom was scared and called for a medic. The medics were very forceful, and took me to the ER. Even against my calm confident voice telling them I was fine. I was given drugs in the hospital that made me sleep all day. Then the social worker conspired against me saying the medications were helping. She was in meetings, and only met with me for a few short periods. I sense there was money involved. She had given me medications that made me ill and sleep all day. I want to work, but if you look at my tax returns. I was always under the poverty level for survival, with the exception of my job out of college. Which ended with me being thrown into unemployment after torture, brain rape, and ruining my reputation deliberately. Framing the newpapers and radio stations against me. I did not have many friends. Then I was date raped after a rush of people subliminally directed me to an aquantinces residence. I was very angry. That was very greedy. I sensed the money motivated attempted murder motif. There was audioengineering, and the whole bit. They planted dirt on the aquantince to indirectly destroy my reputation I learned after waking up and going to work. You could tell by the radio stations on the way there looking back. I also suffered from a lung viral infection mysteriously. Then worked at another company for a short while. Then have a mite eating my chest tissue flare up at work. I told my hiring manager (after she got back from vacation) and she told me I cannot work there. This is not the place for you. I could have been told that without the mite and bribed clinic doctor saying it is another strain. Which is impossible because I only worked, ate, and slept. And it was noncontagious. The strain of mites were also larger in size where I could see them fly fast around my working position. I moved and started to rebuild my life. The third party databases I was placed in is misrepresentative of my actual personality traits and behavior. I worked for a company that used those. Then I developed an allergic reaction after hearing some commotion in the lunch room. And was fired with a doctors note during training. I did deliveries on my bike. It was dangerous though, and had freek acidents occur. Muiltiple ER visits from the falls. And a hit and run collision with a drunk driver. I didn’t even go to the ER for that one. I suffered from a traumatic brain injury after going to an a friend of a friend I was introduced to at work. I must have been drugged. Then I woke up in the nuero ICU with no memory. My gross income decreased after that. SSA is not going to pay what most people earn working. I have worsening depression, an attention disorder, trauma from sexual assualt, and aggravated verbal abuse. My doctor was helping me, and I was doing the best I could working before my application. Now people suddenly know my medications that work who shouldn’t. That is a felony violation. As I never tell anyone what medicines I am prescribed to have a better quality of life. I am experiencing gas lighting/ambient abuse. And anyone who tries to help me is suffering from my disabled state. They experience problems occur that were not there before. Wherever I stay the there is trouble around the housing unit. The people are agressive, ramped up for murder, and non-compassionate. I have trauma from it all that I am coping with. I applied for around 10 local jobs since I moved back to this area. The place I moved from ending with someone tring to break into my apartment. Experiencing the same gas lighting and verbal sexual assualt using long rang aucoustics. This was all after the disability appointment coincidentally. My major depression is worsening. I can take a polygraph on the news if necessary to thwart the manipulation and torture based tactics. There is definitely a psywar directed at me. I can only pray the truth, and good in this state of Illinois will prevail against these ruthless sociopaths.

  6. make a.

    How does a 24 year honorably served (worked hard mentally n physically) medically military retired combat related disabled veteran get denied social security benefits?

    • Comp.bil

      Obviously you didn’t read the post left by Ray H. The Emblem next to his name is the symbol for social security. That means when he gives you advice,try to be nice and at least call the numbers he gives you.

  7. Tired o.

    I have reported Social Security fraud for years someone is using a fake social that does not belong to him and SS does nothing they let him get away with it?? he is also illegal how is this allowed to continue? at some point he will try to collect benefits from said stolen SS# what about the other person who could be suffering from this..? this is absurd

    • Ray F.

      When allegations of fraud are reported to our Office of the Inspector General, they conduct the required investigations, but federal regulations prohibit the disclosure of information contained in law enforcement records even to the individual making the allegation. So unless you are contacted directly by one of our investigators, there will be no further communication from the OIG. Thanks so much for helping us fight fraud.

      • tired o.

        I understand that. But I have reported it for at least five years now? How is this allowed to happen why hasn’t he been convicted does it take that long to discover that he uses someone elses SS#? doesn’t seem right

        • Comp.bil

          There are several other offices you can call,if the person is in your community call the local District Attorney’s office, and the Dept. of Emigration and Naturalization. and last but definitely not the least Department of Homeland Security.

  8. Anicca A.

    My sister and I were born and raised in the Netherlands and qualify to receive AOW, like Dutch Social Security. We sent the original correct paperwork to the local Social Security office who are to forward it to Baltimore, forwarding it to the Netherlands (please note, there are no documents for them to fill out). At the same time the Netherlands received a copy as well as Baltimore, who ‘lost’ both original and copies of documents. The Netherlands received the copy in a week! Social Security is giving us the run around. Nobody can even tell us where the paperwork is. It has been more than three months of lies. They said a month ago they’d sent it, now saying they don’t know where it is. Social Security representatives don’t even know what the forms involved are, nor where to find them, I had the tell them where to find it on their website. In 1990 they signed an International Agreement, but really have nothing to do with the years we lived there. Why is SSA involved with something they have absolutely no knowledge of, or interest in assisting us. It is not the first time we have experienced discrimination.

    • Ray F.

      Hi Anicca, your situation is a complex one and outside the scope of what can be handled via this forum. Please visit our International Programs webpage for more information about our totalization agreement between the United States and other countries. If after browsing our site and you still have questions about international Social Security agreements, we encourage you to call the Social Security Administration’s Office of International Programs at (410)965-3322 or (410)965-7306.

  9. randy f.

    How does a 24 year military(honorably); 90 possibly 100% rated VA disabled veteran get denied social security disability benefits? Does one need to be of a certain race, religion, color, or creed? (610)417-3139

    • Ray F.

      First of all, we thank you for your service Randy. Please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different from the requirements for other government programs including veterans’ benefits. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability. Disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. Please see our Disability Planner: How We Decide If You Are Disabled, for more information. Thanks

      • Comp.bil

        Ray just a question about this post.Is the situation of being basically a civil servant without any withholding being paid, have anything to do with his app. for benefits?

  10. Yolanda G.

    We need to get rid of Doug Walker who is in the pocket of the obuma administration. Gladly or willing gave away thousands of dollars of our hard earned money to fund obuma care! Wake up people and stand together to get rid of all the rotting garbage.

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