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. RICHARD B.

    Received telephone call late yesterday afternoon from individual saying she was Officer so and so from Social Security. Further, that they were calling to advise that our social security number was being used for fraudulent activity in Southwest Florida and Texas. Asked to speak with Officer so and so by pressing the number one.
    Suspecting this was a scam, we hung up the phone. We had from others about such scams.

    • Luis A.

      Hi Richard. Thank you for checking in with us. Keep in mind that 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 online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a site specific to Social Security scams here. We hope this helps.

  2. joan w.

    I received a call saying my SS has been canceled. Is this a new scam?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Joan. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  3. Diana S.

    I am receiving electronic voice telling me they are investigating me for fraudulent charges and claiming to have arrested and stop my benefits. This is upsetting to say the least and I would to know if this is real. Thank you.

    • Luis A.

      Hi Diana. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying 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 site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  4. Billy V.

    I have received several phone calls from a person saying they are from Social Security , and there will
    be legal action about something and I should call
    1832 430 7544 . I did not talk to this person, but
    I was not involved in any kind of legal problems.
    This call first came about 10 days ago, and I went to the local Social Security office to ask about it. They thought it was a scam. I received another call today
    but did not answer it. They leave a message to call
    the same no. listed above.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Billy. 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 site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  5. Tamara H.

    9/18/19, 11:43pm, est.,Someone called from 800 service 1-800-772-1210 making a threatening call about my social security number being endangered ominous sounding.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Tamara. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying 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 site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

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  7. Lisa M.

    I received a call from a Mr Clifford Murphy on 9-12-2019. He told me he was an investigator for Social Security. His Badge number 6818228 & phone 704-935-5713
    He told me my Social Security number was found in a raid in a Texas residence for money laundering & drug trafficking. He threatened me with a hold on benefits & 7 years in jail.
    He asked several other questions and I gave him my S.S. Number.
    I told him I haven’t left Florida since 2005 & had no idea about his accusations.
    I then went online only to find out there are scams like this.
    I also went to the fraud website but had difficulty because of the strange circumstances, I wanted to talk with someone.
    Thank you
    Lisa Marcelletti

  8. eSTHER b.

    i ALMOST GOT SCAMMED TODAY!

    • Luis A.

      Hi Esther. 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.

  9. Joni L.

    This Joni Woodley I am reporting fraudulent phone calls several of them

    • Luis A.

      Hi Joni. 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.

  10. Paul M.

    We received 10 robo calls so far today from 1-410-213-3294 approximately every 30 minutes starting at 11:30 this morning. The number claims to be SSA stating there is a problem with a SSA # and we need to call back the same number immediately.

    • Kenny O.

      Hello Paul. Thanks for sharing your experience. You may also report suspicious calls 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 site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

Comments are closed.