Fraud, Office of the Inspector General

Inspector General Updates Public About OIG Impersonation Scheme

March 31, 2017 • By

elderly woman on cell phoneGale Stallworth Stone, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of a nationwide telephone impersonation scheme.  Since alerting the public in early March about suspicious calls from people posing as Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigators, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the OIG have received additional reports and information about the phone scheme from citizens across the country.

According to reports, the calls include a recorded message from an “officer with the Inspector General of Social Security.”  The recording states the person’s Social Security account, Social Security number (SSN), and/or benefits are suspended, and the person should call a non-SSA number to resolve the issue.  For instance, a common recording from “Nancy Jones” requests citizens call 806-680-2373.  Upon calling the number, an unknown person alerts unsuspecting citizens about a warrant for their arrest.  The unknown person urges citizens to purchase iTunes cards, other gift cards, or prepaid banking cards, for hundreds of dollars, and to provide the card information to the unknown person, to resolve the warrant.

Acting Inspector General Stone advises that citizens:

  • Avoid calling any number provided by a suspicious source, as the unknown source might pressure you to provide your personal information, or to make a payment or purchase for fictitious reasons.
  • Avoid making payments over the phone or purchasing gift cards or banking cards to resolve government or business matters.

“This scheme targets unsuspecting persons and uses scare tactics to defraud them of their resources,” Acting Inspector General Stone said.  “Citizens should be very careful and avoid responding to suspicious calls.  If an unknown person pressures you on the phone into providing payments or making purchases for odd reasons, don’t think twice about hanging up.”

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.

If a person has questions about any communication—phone call, email, letter, or text—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.  (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)


Tags: , , , , , ,

See Comments

About the Author

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Comments

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

  1. Jerry Harvey

    I live in Chicago Illinois and received a phone call from this number 530-287-2786. A message was left on my voice to call that number. When I to inquire what was the call about. I was told that a case number should have been left. So, I was asked for my name and social security number. At this point I terminated the call suspecting that it was a scam.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Jerry. 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.

      Reply
  2. Barbara Y Diaz

    Got a call . Saying my number was under investigation. 830 302 2759

    Reply
  3. Rosetta Husted

    Received a call and a voice mail from someone who claimed to be working For the Social Security department. He gave his name is Mark Henry badge number 88160. Any calls from a number which came up as 833-765-7345 Under United States. I pray that you catch these guys.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Rosetta. 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

      Reply
  4. Vicky snook

    I recieved a phone call. Stating there was some activities going on with my s.s. I dont have s.s. I am still working. They said if they dont hear from me they were gonna take it as fraud. This is why I am contacting you I am not drawing s.s. yet.
    Thank you for your time,
    Vicky

    Reply
  5. Patricia Michelette Holland

    You complaint system sqtinks . Please give a phone no for this office! I need help now!!

    Reply
  6. Elizabeth Robidoux

    I just got a call from 863-257-6029 telling me that they are social security and that my social security number is being used to commit a number of crimes in Texas. It was a record and seemingly a RoboCall.

    Reply
  7. Roberta

    I just got a phone call from 432-897-2586 and they left a voicemail…its staes to contact the office regarding legal action. I called and a lady answered “social secuirty office” I hung up and searched the phone number. I called back and again, phone answered by a male “Social Security office” he gave his name as Cole Bennet. I asked for the address they were located, and he gave me 611 Clinic Dr. Longview Tx and a zip code. So I asked what division with social security he was with and he hung up. He spoke with a heavy accent.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for checking in with us, Roberta. 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.

      Reply
  8. Christine Dale

    I got a call today from Social Security fraud. They said it happened in Texas. I asked who’s mine or my husband. He asked for my name and I refused saying you called me you tell me. He hung up. I know from working in Student Loans they never call neither will the IRS.
    Called from 51852866646.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Christine. 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.

      Reply
  9. Rebecca S Green

    Today I received a recording via my cell phone from 859-838-9547 Medical (Consultants?) The voice said that I must call to verify my Soc. Sec.. # or he would have to issue a warrant for my arrest and have me incarcerated if I didn’t call back.
    Another phone # 443-329-9236 left a voice mail “verify your social security number when you call to help you with this issue. If I don’t hear a call from you we will have to issue you an arrest warrant and put you behind bars. So get back to me as soon as possible. Thank you.”
    Another message left reads “Timely one to connect to our agent or call us back on our number 833-355-3986. I repeat, 833-355-3986 again, this is Officer Ryan Smith from S S a social security administration. Thank you. six.”

    Reply
  10. Eduardo Wilderman

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you’d have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

    http://www.dlllejkk.edu

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment. For your safety, please do not post Personally Identifiable Information (such as your Social Security Number, address, phone number, email address, bank account number, or birthdate) on our blog.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *