Frauds & Scams

Helping You Avoid Scams this Holiday Season

December 15, 2022 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 2, 2023

Helping You Avoid Scams this Holiday SeasonSocial Security-related scams continue to be widespread, especially during the holidays. Criminals pretending to be from Social Security and other federal government agencies are tricking victims into sending money or sharing personal information. The scam tactics and scripts may vary, but the ultimate goal is to pressure victims to send money using methods such as gift cards or wire transfers.

This holiday season, protect yourself from scams. Be skeptical and cautious of unexpected calls or messages. Criminals are using the names of federal government officials and sending pictures of documents, evidence, federal employee credentials, and law enforcement credentials and badges, to try to prove their legitimacy. They may change the picture or use a different name, agency, or badge number, always with the intent to scam people out of money or personal information.

Ignore suspicious calls, texts or social media messages, emails, and letters.

We will NEVER:

  • Send pictures of an employee’s official federal government identification.
  • Suspend your Social Security number.
  • Threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or fee.
  • Require payment by retail gift card, wire transfer, internet currency, or cash by mail.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Send “official” letters or reports containing your personal information via email.

We only send automated emails and text messages if you have agreed to receive them from us and only in limited situations, including the following:

  • When you have subscribed to receive updates and notifications by email or text.
  • As part of our enhanced security when accessing your personal my Social Security account.

If you owe money to us, you will receive a letter with payment options and appeal rights. We do not accept gift cards, wire transfers, internet or cryptocurrency, or cash by mail.

Report suspected Social Security-related scams — and other Social Security fraud — to our Office of the Inspector General. Follow SSA’s OIG on Twitter @TheSSAOIG, Facebook @SSA Office of the Inspector General, and LinkedIn for the latest information about Social Security-related scams. Please share this message with your family and friends — because scammers never take a holiday break.

Did you find this Information helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Tags: , , ,

See Comments

About the Author


  1. Irene C.

    I am please that social security teach us what the way scammers act. Thank specially for old people like me that sometimes we believe the scammers

  2. Bimbim

  3. Aileen G.

    Is there a grocery supplement for seniors on social security?
    Thank you!

  4. Jerry I.

    i would like to share my experience with you all, I lost over 100k to all these fake so called BO merchants , after several attempts in trying to recover my money all efforts failed, i was looking through the page of the internet then i saw davidmoore9951 at gm ail . com they were recommended as a good and reputable company so i reach out to them, to my surprise i was able to to recover all my funds , if you have fallen victim to any of all these fake so called schemes and you have lost your hard earned money you should reach out to. davidmoore9951 at gm ail . com

    • Proud U.

      Federal trade commission and department of justice is what seniors need to turn in fraud. Scammers don’t like hearing the federal government is involved, because they know Federal government will extradite their rear end From overseas to go court in the United States. Boy I love my government. Anytime you use digital you leave a digital footprint.

    • Jeffrey T.

      Jerry: The SSA has STOLEN $164k of my Social Security (SS) benefits and even after it Notice, dated 11/03/2015 (7 month BEFORE it switched me from SSA Disability to regular SS) its Notice stated that this FALSE, MADE-UP USG’T ‘debt’ WAS PAID OFF AS OF March, 2021. Yet the SSA is currently collecting another $55k by 100% deductions of my SS benefits from August, 2022 & STILL is sealing my SS benefits, AGAINST the U.S. Code Of Federal Regulations’s maximum deduction rule of 15% of monthly benefit deductions applied to any USG’T debt. I place the BLAME/GUILT of CLEARLY apparent FELONY actions by the SSA’s Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi & Inspector General Gail S. Ennis who has been twice rebuked by an Administrative Law Judge’s ruling against the IG’s intentionally extremely excessive assessments of fees & penalties targeting disabled federal retirees. ONE example reported by TWP article dated 05/20/2022 by writer Lisa Rein showed a $140k+ SSA/IG assessment against a new widow of a disabled federal retiree’s automatic SS benefit deposit of $1.4k to their still existing joint bank account! WHAT AN AGENCY – ACCOUNTABLE TO NO ONE!

Comments are closed.