Inspector General Updates Public About OIG Impersonation Scheme

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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152 thoughts on “Inspector General Updates Public About OIG Impersonation Scheme

  1. I received two prerecorded messages today from 937-538-5410, stating that the message was from a officer Melody Barnes, South Border of Texas, my social security number was being uses fraudulently. I did not respond.

  2. MY Mother just received a call from the La Mesa office of social security saying her social security number was being used in Texas, and an inspector would be talking to her. The transfer was dropped and they didn’t call back. Is this a scam ?

    • Hi Gary. Thanks for letting us know about these calls. 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. I had a phone call from someone claiming to be from Social Security Administration they were saying that my social security number was possibly used or compromised.
    888-765-8824.

    • Thank you for checking in with us, William. Keep in mind that we do not usually make random calls. If you or 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.

  4. Scam alert! Don’t return calls to 936 6289837. Phone message claims FBI investigation and warns of lawsuit if recipient doesn’t cooperate.

    • Hi DBH. Thanks for letting us know about these calls. 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.

  5. I just received a call from a Stanly Williams employee number 725693 SSAI asked for his supervisors name he said it was Brandy Moore, I was told that my SS Number was being used for money laundering and an arrest warrant had been issued they told me to call 3053595898, or 18001187879 thy did ask for my SS# but I told them that they should already have that number if they had all that info about an arrest warrant. I looked up SS info and called waiting for SSA agent to return my call. I am so glad that this is just a scam, but can you please go ahead and check to make sure that my SSA is ok. Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Silvia. 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. hi i had a call from 877 242 1700 they said they were from s s office that me to call them imediatly im not sure if it was a scam or not just not sure what to do are they scammer or legit thank you

    • Hi Ralph. 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. Yes I am having problems trying to communicate with a person via telephone is there a different number to be able to have contact with someone.

    • Hi Mario. 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.

    • Hi, Rhiney. 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 have received 4 recorded calls saying my SS has had fraudulent activity in Texas, today. I am asked to press 1 to speak with an SSA officer. I did not do that, but because of the repeated calls, I am wondering if this could be on the up and up. I will appreciate a response from you.

    • Hi. Kathryn. 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. I have been trying to find out what’s going on with my Social Security Survivors appeal claim. It was filed April 2018. I have tried to call several times but I’m always told that it’s pending & if they need any additional information, I will be informed. I can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone. Would you please check on this claim and let me know something? I’m desperate. Thank you: Janet K. Paddock

    • Hi, Janet. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. You can ask to speak to a manager on your next visit or call. We hope this is resolved soon.

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