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

  1. I received a call from 1-800-037-5990 claiming they were the SSA and They discovered fraudulent activities with my social security number. I should press 1 with more to follow.

    • Hi, Donald. Thanks for letting us know. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  2. i got a call that my ss number has been compromised and is being stopped. the number that called me is 561-945-8264

  3. I have received a threatening telephone call purporting to be from “Social Security Officer–” (didn’t catch the name). The tone of voice was threatening, and I was told that to avoid legal action I must call the given number “as soon as possible.”
    The telephone number on my Caller ID included the area code of a Social Security office in my area (Greenwood, SC). Thank you for your alert. Please catch these people.

  4. I received a call from (888) 808-2653 claiming there was fraudulent activity and want to report the call. I did not respond to the call.

  5. we got a scam call on February 6 from 849-775-6577. I was not sure where to report this, or if it makes any difference. thanks.

    • Hi, Mary. Thanks for letting us know. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  6. I must get 30 calls a day from these Scammer people. I block the number, they still get through. Threatened me on several occasions. This has to stop.

    • Hi, Christine. Thanks for letting us know. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  7. Their is a new number they are calling from, saying pay attention you have legal action being placed on you ss acct please call 213 3183634 before action is taken. I have had 2 calls about this from that same number. Please pass this info on especially to the elderly so they aren’t giving out their ss # to these people. Thank you

    • Hi. Thanks for letting us know. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  8. I just got a voicemail message claiming to be the SSA that there is an arrest warrant out for me. Beware of these calls, they can be very disturbing!

    • Hi, Christine. Thanks for letting us know. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  9. Everyday three or more times a day I receive these calls. I shut them down. I am afraid a senior citizen is going to get scammed. It happened to my moms friend she lost 10000 dollars. These people need to be found and prosecuted.

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