Inspector General Warns About New Social Security Benefit Suspension Scam

Today, I am warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19 or coronavirus-related office closures. Social Security will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed.

The Social Security Office of the Inspector General has received reports that Social Security beneficiaries have received letters through the U.S. Mail stating their payments will be suspended or discontinued unless they call a phone number referenced in the letter. Scammers may then mislead beneficiaries into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain regular benefit payments during this period of COVID-19 office closures.

As of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, local Social Security offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns. However, Social Security employees continue to work. Social Security will not suspend or decrease Social Security benefit payments or Supplemental Security Income payments due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Any communication you receive that says Social Security will do so is a scam, whether you receive it by letter, text, email, or phone call.

Social Security will never:

  • Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card.
  • Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem.
  • Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If you receive a letter, text, call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about an alleged problem with your Social Security number, account, or payments, hang up or do not respond. We encourage you to report Social Security scams using our dedicated online form. Please share this information with your friends and family, to help spread awareness about Social Security scams.

Learn about Social Security services during the COVID-19 pandemic, by visiting our Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) page.

 

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244 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns About New Social Security Benefit Suspension Scam

  1. I sent my email from this site many days ago and still haven’t received the answer. Like many folks here, I still haven’t received my stimulus direct deposit (one time?) yet. I just talked to my neighbor and she said she has received hers when it was issued direct deposit into her bank account. Just wonder if it’s going to come?

    • Hi Jerawan, thank you for your question. Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who do not have qualifying children under age 17 do not need to take any action with the IRS. You will automatically receive your $1,200 economic impact payment directly from the IRS. You should receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as you would normally receive your Social Security benefits. Treasury expects automatic payments for Social Security beneficiaries no later than the end of April and automatic payments for SSI recipients no later than early May. We hope this helps.

  2. I am on RSDI. Yesterday I get an income verification letter that is now due in 12 days. I have no way to copy, print off copies or replicate my earnings for 2 3/4 yrs. I have always entered my earnings in the earnings section of mysocialsecurity.gov. Help!

    • Hi Thomas, thank you for using our blog. 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 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  3. Hi, I’m so sorry I just sent a question and found out a few minutes later from the previous answers in this set of emails about Coronavirus stimulus check. I went to the irs site and got the answer. Thanks!

  4. when they say social security will get stimulate check automatically by 1099 that is not true if adependent dosnt get it this info is not on a 1099 so how could they know who is a dependent

  5. During the initial establishment of my digital records at SSA from my IRS history, likely 25 years ago, the SSA Data Input Team misspelled my last name.

    My last name is “ROSS”, the entry into the SSA System was “BOSS”.

    This error has blocked me from filing for full SSA Benefits in June 2018 to this date. And has blocked me from filing for Medicare since June 2017.

    My original Social Security Card from 1966 is “ROSS”.

    My IRS Tax Records dating to 1966 are “ROSS”.

    My Military records are “ROSS”.

    My California Driver’s License since 1974 is “Ross”.

    My VA Disability payments have been made to “Ross” every month since Feb. 1977.

    My 2020 Stimulus Payment was made through my VA Disability to “Ross”.

    My VA Medical Card since 1977 is “Ross”.

    I am troubled that an SSA error can not be corrected by the SSA who entered the error. But must be corrected by me.

  6. If you filed a paper copy of your taxes in 2018 but have not filed for 2019,when will you get your stimulus . We are on Social Security and have pensions . AGI in the 70’s

  7. I live in a nursing home and I have a direct express card. I have not gotten any thing.. Can you please tell me what going on.

    • Hi there. Thanks for checking with us. 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. To ensure that correspondence was from Social Security, you should call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  8. I have disability for over 30 years which they changed to retirement in 2020 it’s always been direct deposit and still is and have not received any stimulus check. I’m wondering if because I have a federal loan being garnished it is causing me problems or not. When I called them they cannot help me. I read they should be here by meAy in the early part so what do I do

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