IG Warns Public About Fraudulent Phone Calls Threatening Arrest or Legal Action

" "The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of telephone impersonation schemes that exploit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) reputation and authority.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continues to receive reports from across the country about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be from SSA.  Recent reports have indicated that unknown callers are using increasingly threatening language in these calls.  The callers state, due to improper or illegal activity with a citizen’s Social Security number (SSN) or account, a citizen will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number to address the issue.  This is a scam; citizens should not engage with these calls or provide any personal information.

SSA employees do contact citizens, generally those who have ongoing business with SSA, by telephone for customer-service purposes.  However, SSA employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information.  In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up.

“Unfortunately, scammers will try anything to mislead and harm innocent people, including scaring them into thinking that something is wrong with their Social Security account and they might be arrested,” Stone said.  “I encourage everyone to remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence.  We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens, so that they can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.”

The OIG recently warned that some of these impersonation calls have “spoofed” SSA’s national customer service phone number, displaying 1-800-772-1213 as the incoming number on caller ID.

The Acting Inspector General urges citizens to be extremely cautious, and to avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.  If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, you should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

For more information, please visit https://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/scam-awarenessFor media inquiries, please contact Andrew Cannarsa, OIG’s Communications Director, at (410) 965-2671.

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83 thoughts on “IG Warns Public About Fraudulent Phone Calls Threatening Arrest or Legal Action

  1. You say “We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens”. Are any of these scammers being tried & fined or imprisoned? Warnings to citizens are the first step but not enough.

  2. We should not be cowering in the wake of scammers. The technology exists to identify; trace and arrest these thieves. Why doesn’t Social Security hire IT savvy experts and work to pass legislation that will allow them to stop this extortion and theft.

    • The same reason that offices continue to close or be understaffed. Why you have to wait to get through on the phone or sitting waiting for your number to be called. It is interesting that millions want less government, and reduce their own taxes, yet expect a Cadillac level of services. Perhaps if you cut your spending by 30% you can see how difficult it is to not only maintain your current lifestyle choices, but even expand them.

      • BRAVO! I’ve said that here dozens of times and still see the scathing criticisms of SSA and all our government programs that keep getting cut because of cries for “smaller government” “less regulation.” Making rules & laws to protect consumers IS regulating these industries. But you are all too willing to jump on the crazy train to enrich the wealthy then blame the government when your benefits are cut to pay for walls and wars and defense contractors.

  3. I don’t answer my phone unless a name comes up that I know. A call with just a number …. I don’t answer. That’s safer for me.

  4. Just wondering why the model in the photo is white. Shouldn’t the government shoulder a bit more responsibility for inclusion? (I am white, by the way.)

    • Concur. Why is there a humanoid in the article anyway. The Director or Assistant, can’t write an article without a humanoid
      It’s a sad world.

    • OH MY GOD. Why does EVERYTHING have to be about color. It doesn’t matter if it is BLACK, WHITE, RED or PURPLE. Stop with making everything about RACE. This is what gets things started and problems begin. YES, I AM ALSO WHITE! And who cares?

  5. I let it go to voicemail now because I can no longer trust even my family calling me! These are ugly hurtful calls! These people who do this have no integrity or respect even for themselves! For me it’s about trust and honesty!

  6. I been call numerous times threatening to come and arrest me if I do not resolve a issue I hang up most times it’s a 646 number.

  7. I made my social security application on 08/22/18, I want to know if I received it. I also want to know after my retirement date 12/31/18 when and how much will my social security contribution be.

  8. I
    I have lost count of how many of these calls I’ve received. I’ve known from the beginning they are scammers. They use the Washington DC area code. I’ve told them they are scammers and while they are still protesting I hang up. I hope they get arrested and stay in prison for a long, long time! I finally got a phone that I can now block calls. I’m 81 yo and have yet to fall for such stuff. Bottom line: Their schmooz appeals to people’s greed. Thank you for investigating this. I don’t believe they are located in the US. They are either in India or somewhere in Africa.

  9. Who would ever thought the computers in the wrong hands would be so damaging. The government can’t protect itself, how are they going to protect me. This is all coming from prophecy. Be ready to get your number, to buy and sell. People will steal you blind, and companies are equally guilty, and more so.

  10. Yes they called me the area code was
    405 they said someone used my SS number in Texas. They found 9 lb of coke. Told me my SS Card is being closed down at all banks within an hour. They wanted me to go to the Dollar Tree and get gift cards from my bank account and my charge card. They were very conveniency .

    • Someone I know got a similar call. They said his info was used to rent a car, which was found with a dead body in the trunk. They requested personal info which they claimed was needed to verify his innocence. He knew something was off and didn’t provide the requested data. It was still convincing enough, however, to leave him shaken and worried.

  11. I have received a number of calls threatening arrest, person speaks very quickly saying to press number on key pad to speak with representative, I listen do not speak and hang up.

  12. I love to hear that you take actions in matter like this that one make us understand that be part of this nice program from agency’s from a nice nation like this is ours responsibility to support any suspicious behavior Iam not really good whit my grammar but I hope you understand that little big I know and I would say thanks to the ones who really support programs for desabilities person like me and many ones a round this beautifull nation and is good to hear exelent news like this to communicate and protected a real nice programs like this thanks from your friend.

    Claudia L. Castro Chacon.

    • Yes, I try to have ‘fun’ with these criminals to ‘tick them off’. I let them do their ‘pitch’ to catch their accent Similar to saying “how’s your weather today in… India, Africa, Philippines, China, Mexico, Nicaragua, England? They hang-up.
      It is best to freeze all of your credit with your credit reporting companies getting a PIN to use it when credit report release is needed. I open mine for a one hour period and let the potential creditor know that little fact.

  13. We appreciate your security measures,however since someone used my spouses SS number for employment you have mad it impossible for her to get retirement benefits.No one will help or cares.They just continue to send new passwords.This process is flawed because that alone doesn’t work.This has gone on for months and prevented retirement.It is wrong.

    • The situation you stated is an FBI felony criminal matter. Contact your regional FBI office; also your sheriff’s fraud officer and state’s law enforcement. Have you made an in-person visit to your Social Security Office?
      Always go to the available law enforcement and the 3 credits reporting corporation; these enforcers are resources available to us, we Seniors are all targets. We must be proactive and follow-up with all resources; each one has too many cases of cyber criminal activity.
      Criminals find ways to break passwords and sell our information to the Dark Web; I personally know my information has been sold. First.I froze my credit reporting companies. Now, I use a PIN to open it, as needed for very brief window periods. Only when I need to provide a new account a release to a known. So much to our Golden Years; staying vigilance is a requirement.

  14. I have received several of these calls. They even threatened me that I would be arrest within an hour. I told them I would wait for the sheriff to come.
    I was hoping the calls would stop but they continue.
    Thanks for the warning!

  15. Just received one of these exact calls this morning. Thus us the 5 or 6 th call in the last 3 days I never answer I let them go straight to voicemail. This newest phone call generated from 7527428433.

  16. I received a call from a woman saying that my social security or my husband’s has been fraudulently attacked. the number I was to call back is 469-327-6813.

    • Hi Joanne, thank you for checking in with us. As the recent blog post indicates, there are some Social Security impersonation schemes that we are warning citizens about.

      If you have 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). You may also report the information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

  17. Yes i am strongle every day i received call every day scammer promesses me all is about there going to help me to get benefits from ssa disability $ 2,500 a month i am feeling that is a arrasement for a person who sick for more than decades no benefits and get promesses like that.i am strong than ever soon with my 65 years old.happy holidays everyone and happy new years.

  18. Today, at 8:51 am, I got a phone call (recorded message) from 253-220-7253 from a guy pretending to be employed by the Social Security Administration. The message concludes for me to call back immediately because there is an “Arrest Warrant” at a police station associated with my social security number. I called the number back at 8:57 am (today), fully aware it is a scam, but wanted to give them a hard way to go. First, the guy with the same voice from the recorded message answered. Second, he asked for my SS# and I declined. Third, instead of the “Police Department” with a warrant for my arrest it was (according to him) the Drug Enforcement Agency in Washington, DC. I told this man that he will NOT get my SS#, and I will contact the DEA myself and when I did (at 9:03 am) and told them about the call, they said it was a scam and don’t worry there is no arrest warrant for me (which I already knew). I am so sick and darn tired of scare tactics from people like this and want this to come to an end.

  19. Is terrible how someone can get access to your whole life Apple website that supposed to be secure not only my social security number but my health workers also I screenshot every message or every links from your website for my proof that I was going you guys official government website I wish these things can stop is ruining my son in my life and no one firm SSA. Offices believe me after several calls also walk in at Monroe office

  20. I recently received an email supposedly from SSA telling me I had a message from SSA and provided me a link to click to take me to SSA site. I did not click this link, but rather tried to go to the SSA site by typing in the domain name, Saturday Dec 8, 2018, 10:20 AM, and it said the site is not available right now. What’s going on?

    • Hi Charles, thank you for your question. The message could be about the COLA notice. Beneficiaries that are my Social Security users received a courtesy notification indicating a COLA Notice was delivered to their Message Center inbox. In the Message Center inbox, there is an item titled: “Your 2019 Social Security Cost of Living Increase.” When you open the message, there’s a hyperlink to retrieve the online notice. You will also receive a paper notice in the mail but in the future you will have a choice of online or paper notification.

  21. I do the same as you. If I don’t know who is calling me I don’t answer the phone!!!

  22. I received a call from someone supposedly representing Medicare and wanting to send me free braces for back or leg pain, etc. When I refused to give my current Medicare number to accept the free braces, I was told since someone else could benefit from the free braces, and I refused to give my Medicare Number or accept the braces, my Medicare benefit would be cancelled.

  23. COMMON SENSE SAYS IF THEY ARE CALLING YOU ABOUT ANYTHING WRONG WITH YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND HOW IT HAS BEEN USED< THAN THEIR SHOULD ALREADY HAVE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. HANG UP FAST

  24. Just received a phone call from “Social Security” on my cell phone, phone number that called showed up as 1118007321614, stating that my social security was fraudulent, that it would be stopped, etc. I hung up! Would be nice to be able to get something done about this stuff.

  25. I RECEIVED A CALL FROM A SERGEANT,WHO STATED HE WAS FROM THE S.S.O.THE TELEPHONE NUMBER HE USED WAS, 210-361-1417. I DID NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS. I CALLED THAT NUMBER AND THE MALE ANSWERED S.S.O.IS THAT NUMBER FICTITIOUS CALL. THANK YOU.RON

    • Hi Ron, thank you for checking in with us. Chances are this call was not from Social Security. Instead of calling the number they provide, if you ever have any 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).

  26. So, it’s not only your SSN you need to protect. Be on top of your name and make sure someone with the same name who lives in the same zip code as you doesn’t end up benefitting while you struggle to buy food for your child and you. (She never did have to pay for anything. The judge dismissed all credit company legal charges and said it was their mistake they got the wrong person, so they could absorb the $300k debt she owed. She still owns her house. I just started getting updates from Trulia that the house was worth more. Trulia mixed me up with her! But I have nothing left for them to take except my dog and a car that barely makes it to the doctor and back.)

  27. Got a call from 210-966-9321 they wanted my name and SSN, get bent buddy! Just so you have another number they are calling from.

  28. Today I was contacted by phone # 347-732-2738. A male with an accent informed me that he was Officer “insert name I didnt catch,” and inform me that his badge number was 742609310 and the case id was DC7010, warrent #537542 and that he needed to verify my info in order for the Sheriff’s department not to arrest me. I only verified my name and that I have never lived in Texas where he claimed someone had used my identity to traffic drugs. When I insisted that I speak to someone else he informed me he would transfer me to a “federal marshal.” He told me to stay on the line while he tried to contact/transfer. I smelled a rat, and hung up. He tried to call back at the same 347 number but i didnt answer. Then someone tried calling me from my hometown’s area code (734), when I answered a gentleman with a very deep voice (ny accent- where the 347 # is from) asked if I wanted him to arrest me. He stated he would literally come to my door in the next few minutes and arrest me if i didnt comply. I told him i didnt believe he was legitimate and was going to call the local police. He said, “Fine, you go ahead!”
    They also kept telling me to leave my house for the next hour or Id be arrested…..

  29. I just got a voice mail from. 682-224-7355. From officer sukie? Said that she was from the social security office. Call came from Fort Worth Texas but she said she was in New York. The voice mail said if I would kindly call as soon as possible to avoid legal Proceedings that would be nice. And on top of that it was a recording. My son called it back and boy did he have fun with the lady scammer on the other end. He said that he did not know where I was at and she said that I was there with her doing her house work and I needed to go to the hospital. So she put another lady on the phone and said it was me as I sat right next to him, and 40 minutes later she said that I had died because I had to go the hospital. And then she wanted to talk to my grandkids. It was quite funny but I did report it to the Social Security office.

  30. I had an appointment to go in and meet with a representative this is my first meeting for benefits. Someone called from the office today saying my appointment will now be over the phone due to shortage of personnel. They knew my scheduled time and date, And now scheduling to same day different time, and I’m no longer going in to see in person, they scheduled it for on the Phone, calling my home. . They gave me their name and phone number with extension, and noted I could call back that number to verify them since we were concerned will have their name with appropriate badge number. Is this norma?

    • Yes, Daniel. It is possible that we may have to change the appointment to a telephone interview.
      Just as a reminder – Social Security Administration (SSA) employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes.
      An SSA employee may call you in limited situations, such as if you’re applying for benefits or 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 receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, citizens may report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.
      Please call the number back and proceed to identify the person that called you as an SSA representative. Thanks!

  31. Don’t just warn scam phone call recipients, but aggressively pursue the perpetrators. These scammers are repeatedly violating federal law. Am I to believe that the federal government does not have the tools to shut down these scam operations? I believe that the SSA has neither the prioritization, leadership nor will to end this embarrassment to our government. Maybe you should consider handing the policing of this problem to the IRS.

  32. Yesterday, Dec10 in the late afternoon, I received a call on my cell phone that my social security card was compromised. The female caller said to press #1. At that point I hung up because I figured it was a scam which I heard about was happening. I only wish that I would have written down the phone number before I hung up.

  33. THIS IS A POOR WAY TO INFORM THE PUBLIC. IT SHOULD BE A BOLD WARNING FLASHING ON THE HOME PAGE WITH A HYPERLINK DIRECTLY TO THIS PAGE. THE WAY IT IS POSTED ON THE SITE HAS MINIMAL EXPOSURE AND REQUIRES EFFORT TO FIND. THIS IS A SERIOUS ISSUE AND THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE OVERTLY INFORMED IN THE MOST OBVIOUS MANNER.

      • Great! It usually goes to voice mail. If they leave a message, then I’ll listen to the message then if I don’t recognize the number or it sounds suspicous, I just delete it!

      • AARP has warnings every month in their magazines and daily emails and daily on their website which has an entire separate area for scam information. If you’re a member and you don’t know that you have no room to criticize. This isn’t news it’s screamed out to us daily from every government agency you just aren’t paying attention. Your bank, credit card company, etc all tell you all the time too. Take a little responsibility for yourself maybe instead of blaming everyone else for not doing enough for you.

  34. These calls didn’t start until I applied for a replacement card, through the online service, as mine was destroyed. The calls started the next day! I suspect the SSA database had been compromised and we have all had our phone numbers lifted for these crooks to try and obtain our information through scare tactics. The caller ID shows the government agency and 800 number, as in the story above. When I answered, it was a computer generated voice wanting me to press 1 to speak to an agent. Nope! I went to the physical office and spoke to a person who verified it is a scam.

  35. I have received numerous threatning calls from Officer GARY COLE supposedly with the SSA regarding pending proceedings against my SSA number. These calls are annoying and I would like them to go away. His number on my caller ID and in his message is 425-626-1931. Thank you for any help possible.
    George L Perry
    602-881-5194

  36. someone called said they were the social security office and they would come out and arrest me if I didn’t call a number . which I did not call, Is that alright It was the second call I got, I will get the number If they call again. thank you

  37. Received two calls this day, 12/12/18, @ 8:19 & 10:28 am from Fostoria, OH, 1-419-701-4637, it was an electronic voice message. I have the voice message saved should you require it, but it basically stated that I was to return this call regarding my social security card,
    etc, before sending this (my) case to the state court house.

    • Collen, SS, IRS will not call you unless you have contacted them and you are waiting for an answer or call back from them. Best to get a name or confirmation of some kind that they can use so you will know who they are for sure.

  38. Received a phone call from “Social Security” department today saying that I have criminal activities against my SS number and I have to call 1-210-405-1207 in order to complete this problem. Is this number associated with SS? I am ignoring this at this time and waiting your reply. I do believe this is a scam and I wanted to check with you all first! Please help!. Thank you.

  39. I received two calls saying my account had a problem and I would be going to jail for fraud . I’m not collecting Soical Security yet and my wife has a claim in talking with a lawyer over a year. My names is James Traylor Sr. The calls came from two Texas phone number 1-956-633-2076 Santa Rosa TX and 903-213-5069 Caddo Mills TX

  40. I received such a call just moments ago. The number I was asked to call is (254)488-4837. I ignored the call and am now reporting it to you.

  41. I received an apparent scam telephone call today 12/13/18. My caller ID displayed “800-772-1213” the SSA main phone number. I didn’t pick up but listened to part of the message interrupted by my answering machine message. The robo-caller sounding message said I need to call the magistrate regarding legal action at 828-XXX-XXXX then closed the message by saying “good luck”.

  42. My husband received on his cell phone today two phone calls threatening legal action with a judgment on his SS immediately if he did not call a certain number back. We knew that it was a scam so hung up. Just wanted to report it as requested be done. Thank you.

  43. Received 2 calls today stating that I need to call the SS office because my social Sec. number has been associated with illegal activity! I assume this is fraud but double checking. The number they said to call was 937 889-1738
    I did not call the number but felt you should know if this is another scam

  44. reporting a Social Security call. two or more calls stating illegal activity tied with my number.

    call coming from: 870-581-6594.

  45. reporting calls fourteen months ago. two or more calls stating illegal activity tied with my number.

    October, 2017: calls coming from: 214-989-6372

  46. I have received multiple calls from the “social security administration” stating I have criminal activity linked to my ssn. I called back and they wanted me to verify my ssn and birth date. I told the guy he should have that info and I would only verify the last 4 of my ssn. When he told me no I told him I would confirm this isn’t a scam then i would call back. Obviously it is one after reading articles on here. He said he was located in San Antonio, TX and seemed to get nervous when. I told him I would verify it wasn’t a scam before calling back.

  47. Is to inform you that there is a legal enforcement action filed on your social security number for criminal activities. So when you get the message kindly call back at the earliest possible on our number that is 346-770-0001. I repeat 346-770-0001 before we begin with the legal proceedings. Thank you and have a nice day. This is the message I received today.

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