Frauds & Scams

Inspector General Updates Public About OIG Impersonation Scheme

March 31, 2017 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

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.)


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About the Author

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Comments

  1. Ellen E.

    Received a call from SSA Dallas, Tx to call as me SSA is involved in criminal activity.
    Called and was told it is connected to drug traffickers and money laundering. I was then transferred to a DEA agent that gave me information that all my money accounts would be seized immediately until they could tract down the culprits. Since I said they could not do that, he said the FBI will be raiding my home in the next day to look for evidence. ……more, but evitually suggests I go to my bank immediately and withdraw as much as I can for money to live on while this is sorted out.
    Take out as much as possible but do not tell anyone or the bank will have to freeze my account immediately. I have two phone numbers and an address WHere I was To Send Money to by overnight FEDEX . 469 378 8033 917 504. 8653.
    Address: Jack Smith
    8 Dayton Drive Apt 39A

    Please contact me at this email.
    Edison, NJ 08820

  2. Emma R.

    Thank you for a prompt response. I was able to corroborate that I had a good reason to suspect impersonation. I called 1800 772 1213 but with the recordings I was not able to access a real person to tell me if there is something really wrong, or if it really was impersonation.

  3. Lourdes R.

    I received a call stating of which my social security number is being placed on a fraudulent account.

  4. Ted C.

    Just got one of these calls. Outgoing phone was 916-500-1213

  5. Ali M.

    For the last few days I received several calls from different numbers threatening me that my case will be filed and action will be taken against me in the court not sure if these numbers is SSI numbers or not,
    1-806-391-4791 , 1-858-367-5424

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ali. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can find additional information here. We hope this helps.

  6. Frieda W.

    We have received numerous calls lately, from SSA, threatening arrest and telling us our account has been suspended. Phone # 1-972-461-9835 and # 1-234-355-4178. I tried calling back to these #’s , receiving recordings of”non-working” numbers. I know now to just hang up!

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Frieda. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can find additional information here. We hope this helps.

  7. Dawn E.

    I have recently been contacted some by somebody who claims they’re from the Texas State office of social security administration the person claims that their name was officer Jason Ray ID number 98456 DC 71972 a person claiming to be a drug enforcement task force agent from the state of Texas his name was said to be Michael B .Robins badge number was supposedly KD 9 6 1 4 call from a phone number in Texas 8 1 7 796-6682

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Dawn. Keep in mind we do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can find additional information here. We hope this helps.

  8. William C.

    I have had several calls from someone claiming to be with the Social Security Administration stating that there is suspected fraud on my social security number and they say that my number has been “suspended”. No return number was given and they asked me to press a number on my phone. These all went to voice mail and I have not yet answered the phone directly. Is this a SCAM?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, William. Thank you for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can find additional information here. We hope this helps.

  9. Vonda V.

    Hi Neal: Thanks for letting us know. If the caller is claiming to be from Social Security—it is critical that you pay attention to the tone and content of the message from the caller. In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of your personal information, such as your Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase your benefit payment, or they threaten that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security.

    If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security, we urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your SSN or bank account information. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you, and never send the stranger money via wire transfer or gift cards.

    Social Security 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 or pay a fee. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. If you receive these calls, report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at oig.ssa.gov/report.

  10. NEAL B.

    i /we keep getting calls saying someone is trying to use our ss# ,and they say the return # so fast we cant get it written down ,i like to know what is going on ,thank you ,

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