72 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns Public about Phone Calls from OIG “Imposters”

    • Hi, Johanna. Thanks for your question. We have several special services to help people who are blind or have low vision, and people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions. There are also different ways to receive information from us if you are blind or have a visual impairment. To learn more, visit our page, “Special Notice Option for the Blind or Visually Impaired.” You can also request Social Security publications in enlarged print. To request copies of these publications, visit our webpage called How to Order Alternative Media. We hope this helps!

      • Dear Mr what do you think if I am an disability ssi checks and social security administration send me a letter let me know I old ssa $19,68.00 to pay back I am 63 years old and I am disable what I can do

        • We wish we could be more help Lesly, but for security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. To request “partial withholding of your benefits” to repay the overpayment, you need to contact your local office as soon as possible or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. For more information and to learn about an appeal and waiver rights, read our publication on “Overpayments“.

  1. How are you able to distinguish if the caller is really from OIG?
    The article mentions “being confident” the calls really comes from OIG.

    • they simply will not call about that kind of information. government agencies send a letter on official letterhead

      • You’re right, we generally send a letter asking you to contact us if we need more information. Our official agency correspondence will always include our SSA seal and proper letterhead. Thanks.

        • This is incorrect. I had a SS person call me and act strange. I asked him to hold while I verified he was from SS and he hung up on me…..after finally getting through to the local office and their search he was a ss employee calling to ask my ss#. Now I have been under review for about a year.
          All because i had the audacity to question somebody with the last name smith calling and asking my SS#. I was told i should not have yelled at him and now I will have to wait some time to know if I lose my SS because of an unknown SS person calling me asking my SS number. Shouldn’t that person have had it?

    • OIG investigators occasionally contact citizens by telephone for investigative purposes, but they will not request sensitive personal information from a citizen over the phone. If a person receives a similar suspicious call from someone alleging to be from the OIG, citizens may report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

  2. I receive calls stating that their records show I have back or knee problems, and they wish to set me up with implements to relieve the pain. I asked where the calls are coming from. Several came from CA. Is it coincidental that I moved back to NJ from NV 1 1/2 years ago? Did the physicians in Vegas sell my records? Or do the callers assume all older folks have joint problems? I’ve told these callers do not call me with their scams! Any other calls, I immediately hang up. I don’t have time for them.

  3. I receive such a call stating that I owed money from 10 years ago. Explained to them that SSA or the IRS do not call and hung up!

    • You’re right Patricia, we generally send a letter asking you to contact us if we need more information. Remember that our official agency correspondence will always include our SSA seal and proper letterhead. When in doubt, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.

      • What you “GENERALLY” do is most unhelpful to those that get calls such as are here com[pained of>

        Eithjer you have a strict policy of NOT EVER calling for SS#s or else you DO NOT have such a policy.

        “If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for battle?”

        Firm up yopur [policies or else remain foprever supect.

    • SSA and IRS ALWAYS mail out notices on just about everything, but definitely anything that affects your benefit, either positively or negatively.
      What these criminals are hoping is they get some sweet, trusting Senior or disabled person on the line who figures if the caller says they’re from the government, it must be the truth. Unfortunately, Baby Boomers (mostly) were raised to absolutely respect government officials, so they tend to be the targets of scams like this.
      Stealing from anyone is wrong, but from the elderly or disabled just makes it that much worse.
      Scams like this and many others are becoming the rule and not the exception & it’s just sad. Personally, I’m completely disabled and cannot work any longer. It’s almost a blessing because it gives me time each day to wade thru this junk.

    • You’re right Richard, we generally send a letter asking you to contact us if we need more information. Remember that our official agency correspondence will always include our SSA seal and proper letterhead. When in doubt, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.

  4. I hope when I tried to report the calls that I received got to someone. The caller would assure me my file was ok, but they needed to update information! I gave them nothing in return except to tell them the call may be recorded on my end, now tell me again the purpose for your call… and they promptly hung up! If an official truly wants information from you they send letters.

  5. Someone is still answering calls at that no. and stating that it is the SSA. Why are these people still in operation?

  6. If someone wants your SS# all they have to see is your Medicare card and gov’t will never change that because it would not be cost efficient. Right? Hey SS guys/gals; answer Augusto’s question. How do we know you is you?

    • Hi Charles. OIG investigators occasionally contact citizens by telephone for investigative purposes, but they will not request sensitive personal information from a citizen over the phone. We generally send a letter asking you to contact us if we need more information. Remember that our official agency correspondence will always include our SSA seal and proper letterhead. When in doubt, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.

      • There you go again – “… We generally send a letter … ”

        HOw is your incessant “GENERALLY” aimed at helping people with serious doubtys and questions?

        Get a strict policy and run with it and no more GENERALLYs.

        • And you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS DO EVERYTJING exactly the same way. Come on, get real @Ronnie Bennet Bray! Thete is NO SUCH THING as an absolute, it does not exist, so your little tirade about “generally” is a tempest in a teapot and frankly, childish. Get over it.

  7. When I receive these calls I let them begin, then I interrupt them and say, “someone is at my door. Hold on for a second and I’ll come back – I want to hear more about this.”

    It’s fun to see how long they wait before hanging up!

  8. I have not received an IRS but have received similar scams. I tell the I need some information: Your name, direct phone number, Supervisor’s name & phone, his/her SSA employee number. It has NEVER gotten that far before they hang up.

  9. We have received such calls on our landline and it is obvious that they are just phishing for personal information. We now don’t even answer calls on our landline. Friends and family know to reach us on our cell phones.

    My question to the Social Security Administration is what are they doing about these complaints? Publicly traded companies have us forward phishing emails and phone numbers to their fraud department so that they can put a stop to these crooks. With governmental agencies, whether it is the SSA, IRS, Medicare, etc., it is HARD to find a fraud abuse email address! The only one that I can easily find is the Post Office. Informing the public about these calls is one step, but what about putting a stop to these crooks?!?

    • We understand your concern, and ask that if a person receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from the OIG, to please report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report. Thanks!

    • If I am sespicious, and ZI am often extremely suspicious, then I ask them whether their Mommas know hopw they make their livings and does she kow you are a stinking crook. They always hang up.

  10. I have call waiting that pops up on my tv screen and pc monitor besides my phone. If I do not know the name or # I will not answer…saves me a lot of agravation.

  11. I am in the process of starting a disability claim. I went to an attorney that I chose locally. Of course they need my social security number and date of birth, but why do they need my mother’s maiden name?

    • Because if the lawyer calls SSA to get any information about you/your SS disability claim, the SSA employee will want alot of identifying information about you. Usually name, SSN#, address, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and possibly where you were born.

      • It is a crying shame that a needy person should have to go to the cost of hiring a lawyer to make a disability claim.

        The US SS Dept. treats needy Americans as though they were thieves instead of expediting their claims and having them set up inside 24 hours as is the case in the UK.

        I speak from experience.

  12. Who do I contact about a call claiming they are calling from social security about my disability check. I do not get a disability check . They called 3 times in a row I answered last call shows wireless caller on caller ID .

  13. I do not have time for this I have seen people do there dirt and when the real authority comes around they disappear and said we are your friends if you want to know you will never know these people know when the authority comes out this is point less I have report numerous of times it is a doctor name Dr. Balu do work for MedStar Union Memorial hospital trying to play Psy. games I know that they practice Islam in Secret I was on both side of the fence I know ya want me by myself and I know ya are on the next one to keep on bring me in circle.

  14. Recently had a call on my answering machine. I made an exact transcript of the call. It went like this: “Good afternoon. This message is for (husband’s name). My name is Kimberly B. I work at the Social Security Administration in Jamaica, New York. And I am calling in reference to claim number (husband’s Social Security Number plus the letter “A”) as in adam. My phone number is 718-557-XXXX…” At this point I pick up the phone because we are dealing currently with a Social Security issue. She repeated her name but said due to the privacy act she could not speak to me. She wanted to speak to my husband who was out of town. She said she worked in Jamaica, New York at the Social Security payment center. I asked her for her ID number. She stuttered a bit and put the phone down and I could hear her using her keyboard. I was on hold listening to keyboard sounds for about six minutes. Then she came back and gave me her employee number, which was so odd. Her ID number was 69658-615-0607. I was surprised that it took her so long to give me her ID number. Then she proceeded to explain the digits in her ID number to me. She told me I should call 1-800-772-1213 to check on her employment. I told her it all sounded too complicated but told her I wrote down everything she told me. End of the call. The caller ID said “U S Government 718-557-3000”. This occurred on March 31, 2017. To this date, we have not called back and we have received no more calls. I know if my husband had answered the call that day, he would have been scammed simply because we were waiting for a followup from Social Security either by US Mail or phone call for the last three months. I think it was a scam/phishing call but not totally sure. Could the OIG check this out and let me know? Is it policy to leave a Social Security Number in a voice message on an answering machine? Is the employee ID number that complicated and difficult for an employee to retrieve? Would it be prudent for anyone getting a call from SSA to ask for an ID number before answering any questions and if so, how many digits or letters are in that number? Thanks in advance for a response.

    • Even though this appears to be a legitimate call from one of our representatives, we have referred this information to our operations staff for follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business, but you should not have to provide your personal information, like your Social Security number or bank account number. Agency employees will not make unsolicited calls and request personal information. To verify the legitimacy of any text messages, emails, or phone calls, you may call Social Security’s nationwide toll-free customer service at 1 800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  15. This morning I received a call from someone stating they were from SSA in Arkansas about my daughters benefits. We have always lived in Texas and questioned the woman about what she was saying. She became very rude stating that she had my daughter’s ssn in front of her. And that Texas was behind in the claims and Arkansas now has my daughter’s file. When I told her I was calling SSA she said that was fine and I could call back. I called the SSA number and ask the young lady on the phone if Texas was behind in the process and sending them to other states such as Arkansas. She said no. I thanked her and said I didn’t think so and thanked her for her time and hung up. The number was 501-682-6162 all the numbers from the Arkansas area SSA was 800 numbers not there local area codes.

    • You did well Beverly and we thank you for sharing this incident. It is possible that an SSA employee may contact you to follow-up on a previous application for SSA/Medicare Part D benefits or to follow-up on other business you initiated with SSA. If you are unsure as to the authenticity of someone who claims to be an SSA employee, please call SSA’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller. See “Scams Involving the Impersonation of an SSA Employee” for more information.

  16. I called 1-800-772-1213 and was offered a call back because of the long wait (50 minutes). I received a call back from 469-656-6020 (Allen, Texas) and was able to talk to a representative. Does SSA actually have a call back service? After speaking with the representative, who asked for my SSN and birthday, I called the 800 number gain to speak to a rep and was put on hold for 55 minutes. There was no offer of a call back. I hope I didn’t get scammed.

    • Hi Paul! Generally, we offer the “callback” option at times when we are experiencing higher than normal call volume. An SSA employee may call you and may request that you confirm personal information over the phone, only in limited special situations, and for reasons usually already known to you. If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA, please contact the 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). Thanks.

  17. Hi, my wife applied for spousal benefits. She’s retired, I’m still working. She checked the status of her application and saw that her request was denied. Why was her request denied? Thanks.

    • Hi Paul. Even if they have never worked under Social Security, your spouse may be able to get benefits if they are at least 62 years of age and you are receiving or eligible for retirement or disability benefits. Social Security wants to be sure that the decision made about your claim is correct. Your wife can request an appeal if she does not agree with our decision. She must make a request within 60 days from the date she received the notice of denial.
      Unfortunately and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our representatives should be able to provide your wife with an explanation and answer her questions about this matter. She can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday to Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or visit her local Social Security office. Please visit our Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse for more information. Thanks!

  18. Got a call saying my SS was suspended today and I was to call 254-863-8099 and talk to Maria Garcia . Still have that message and another on my phone. Said that my name and SS number was used to rent a toyota in El Paso TX and the car was wrecked and had 20 lbs of Cocaine in it, plus I was wanted on money laundering. The Sharif, SS agent, and someone else was going to show up at my house tonight. wanted me to go to my bank and draw out money. Much more to the story cant seem to find a fraud report line Not sure you guys really care

  19. i received 2 calls today from someone claiming to be with Social Security. He claimed a letter had been sent to me stating that my direct deposit would be discontinued as of January 3rd. The more he talked, with a heavy accent, the more suspicious I became. He didn’t get far enough to ask for a telephone number or social security number or bank account information.

    • Hi Ethel, SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen to confirm personal information over the phone.
      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). Thanks.

  20. FRAUD, HARRASSMENT! I am getting calls from 412-313-0822, claiming to be from DISABILITY. Trying to get important personal INFORMATION. I’ve received about 20 calls within 2 hours it’s constant harassment and I’m expecting important phone calls. I would like to file a fraud complaint! Also to prevent them from targeting anyone else. Thank You

    • Hello Patricia. SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen to confirm personal information over the phone. If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA, 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. Thanks!

  21. I received two calls neither of which I answered they left these messages from this number 281-944-5524
    The first one from Nancy Sullivan, Head Office, Social Security Administration Office telling me that my card had been suspended.
    The second call was from George, Head Office, Social Security Office, informing me that this was my final reminder and that my card had been compromised and being used for illegal activity and that failing to call could result in freezing and forfeiting my assets.

    • Please be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company. Avoid providing personal information unless you are certain of a person’s authority to have the information.
      SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes.
      An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen to confirm personal information over the phone.
      If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call — that claims to be from SSA, 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). Thanks.

  22. I received a suspcus call from a man at 804 556 1709 stating he is head of the SSN office and will freeze my assets. I tried to report it but the wait time was 40 minutes so I am hoping you receive this message.

  23. I have recently received a call from thos number as well stating that my ssn# was suspended due to suspicious illegal activity and that my assests could be seized. It also stated that I needed to contact my assigned paralegal at 1-804-556-1709.

  24. 434-288-0113 has been calling my elderly mother with this social security scam. They claim her benefits will be frozen and to call the above number for a paralegal to help her for a fee to get out of trouble with Social Security Administration.

    • Thank you for your comment, Xavier. SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending.
      If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA, 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).

  25. Have been receiving scam phone coals from various phone #s in Coal City IL – each time it is a women with a very friendly voice saying she is with Social Security Admin, each time I block the number but another number from Coal City calls the following day – these are a few. 815-709-0841, 0823, 0790, 0812

    • Hi Dana, SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen to confirm personal information over the phone.
      If a person has questions about any communication: email, letter, text or phone calls from someone who claims to be from SSA, 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). Thanks.

  26. I have received a letter asking me to call Ms. Hall at 866-964-7317 Ext. 29228 before March 14, 2018, about my “online application.”

    Is this a legitimate Social Security person and number?

    I have not filed any online application.

    • Thank you for your question, Bernard. This appears to be a legit SSA number. We have referred your inquiry to our Operations Staff for follow up, if necessary.
      Just a reminder – If a person has questions about any communication —email, letter, text or phone call— that claims to be from SSA, please contact your local Social Security office, or call our 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). Thanks!

  27. I have been on the telephone waiting for two hours so far to speak to someone at social security on the telephone. I was online for two hours yesterday at the social security online site trying to apply for benefits. I couldn’t complete the application because when I entered the routing number of my bank account, the online application wouldn’t allow me to enter the entire number. So, I kept getting an error message on the routing number. I tried over and over to enter the entire number–no luck. Finally, I was told I would be disconnected but was given a number to reenter my application the next day. Today (the next day) the site would not accept my re-entry number. So, now I’m calling Social Security by telephone. I think it’s ironic that every few minutes I get a message from social security that they are sorry for the delay but that I can always apply online.

    This really sucks. I am an old lady who has been paying into social security and am still paying into social security because I work and cannot support myself on my pension. I am certainly not a technological expert, but I can fill out an online application if only the application will allow me enough digits to fill in my bank router number.

    Thanks for nothing.

  28. I keep receiving calls that I am being sued .. We receive calls from this # threatening a law suite 475-689-4662I don’t owe anything other than normal bills. What can I do other than ignore

  29. Phone scam, Claims to be Victor Frank with the Social Security Fraud department. There is a claim with my Social Security number please call 210-607-7809.

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