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. James A.

    For the most part I don’t answer my phone if i don’t recognize the number, Several times recently I have had this message left on my phone

    “There are legal enforcement action is filed on your Social Security number for fraudulent activities so when you get this message kindly call back at the earliest possible on our number before we begin with the legal proceedings that is 360-216-7590 I repeat 360-216-7590 thank you…”

    • Ann C.

      Hi, James. Thanks for letting us know. 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 also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. Thanks, again.

  2. Perry P.

    Social. Security call from lady :Scam threatening arrest from 270-594-4257
    2days in a row

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Perry. 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 also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. Thanks, again.

  3. Shy

    I got a call to call back about SS the number is 833-416-1019 is this a real number of your department? It was
    a recorded message.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, Shy. 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 also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  4. Ronald S.

    why cant these scammers be set up to be caught?i got 4 calls today with a return call number..its a recording and when i pressed 1to talk to someone,i told them they were scammers,the girl said f—u .love to get them-

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, Ronald. 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 also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. Thanks, again.

  5. Helen B.

    I received an automated call today saying that my SS number had been compromised in south Texas and I should punch 1 on my phone. I just hung up.

    • Luis A.

      Hi Helen. Thank you for letting us know about these calls. We do not usually make random calls. If you or 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 also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams here. We hope this helps.

  6. Elizabeth Y.

    I’m still getting these calls 4 calls from four different states saying my SS is frozen and that I’ll need to give them info …..I’m so tired of these people here is the numbers ………. 585-207-1720 Fillmore NY 912-421-4451 savannah GA 512-900-6057 Austin TX

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Elizabeth. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. Thanks, again.

  7. Pamela A.

    1-833-325-6948 Houston, Texas – someone from this number called me and said there were fraud charges against me. I was to call them back, but I didn’t. What is interesting is that a family member receives disability and has his first disability review (after 7 years)_ coming up. Maybe you have someone on the inside gathering personal information. Too much of a coincidence.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Pamela. 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 also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  8. John S.

    On Memorial Day weekend, we received half a dozen calls, (which we let answering machine get) FROM these following numbers about our “suspended” social security number. The male voice was computer generated and wanted us to respond by pushing a certain digit. Needless to say, we did NOT respond, but kept the recording for future “reference.” These calls were FROM;
    858 788-1165,
    858 788-1162,
    858 788-1172.

    Please notify us if we can help.
    Thanx, John & Nancy

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, John. 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 also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. Thanks, again.

  9. CYNTHIA J.

    I can’t believe that it’s all too late for me to get help with my social security account because everyone else is calling in and reporting it because they all want me to go to jail because I’m so mad over what they are doing because they all know everything about me because I have tried & tried to get help with this mess but nobody will ever listen to me!

  10. Patricia J.

    I have been receiving voicemails that there is fraudulent activity on my social security. To call 213-289-3864.
    I take it this is a scam since reading this blog and not legitimate.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, Patricia. 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 also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

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