Inspector General Warns Public About New Twist To Social Security Phone Scams

The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public that telephone scammers may send faked documents by email to convince victims to comply with their demands. The Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has received reports of victims who received emails with attached letters and reports that appeared to be from Social Security or Social Security OIG. The letters may use official letterhead and government “jargon” to convince victims they are legitimate; they may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes.

This is the latest variation on Social Security phone scams, which continue to be widespread throughout the United States. Using robocalls or live callers, fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account, or benefits. They may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets, or resolve identity theft. They often demand payment via retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency such as Bitcoin, or pre-paid debit card.

Inspector General Ennis urges continued vigilance against all types of phone scams no matter what “proof” callers may offer. As we continue to increase public awareness of phone scams, criminals will come up with new ways to convince people of their legitimacy. Social Security will never:

  • threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately 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; or
  • send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If there is ever a problem with your Social Security number or record, in most cases Social Security will mail you a letter. If you do need to submit payments to Social Security, the agency will send a letter with instructions and payment options. You should never pay a government fee or fine using retail gift cards, cash, internet currency, wire transfers, or pre-paid debit cards. The scammers ask for payment this way because it is very difficult to trace and recover.

If you receive a call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about a problem with your Social Security number or account, hang up or do not respond. We encourage the public to report Social Security phone scams using our dedicated online form, at https://oig.ssa.gov. Please share this information with your friends and family, to help spread awareness about phone scams. For more information, please visit https://oig.ssa.gov/scam.

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69 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns Public About New Twist To Social Security Phone Scams

    • When in doubt check it out by going to your My Social Security Account to review any messages sent to you and/or contact Social Security directly before opening, replying or opening any unsolicited messages.

      • The moment someone threatens you with arrest, requires a payment or for you to enter your personal ID and Password to your account, you should seriously suspect fraud and not give the information or payment requested. Don’t click on any link they provide. If you want to check, go to your own saved links or official website. Better be suspicious than become a victim

  1. Thank you for the information. Is there such a thing as a “do over”? I have received various emails and sent to sites claiming that a “do over” exists.

  2. I got two calls yesterday, within a couple of hours of each other, threatening my arrest for fraudulent activity on my Social Security number. I listened to the entire call, out of curiosity, only to have the ending of the pre-recorded call tell me to press 1 to speak to someone that would take care of my issue. I simply hung up and blocked the call. But we all know that blocking a number does not stop them. They simply ghost another number!

  3. this is so sad because there are people that actually believe these horrible people. they are so afraid of losing their benefits or going to jail. they are desperate. people or seniors please do not fall for these criminals who just want to dupe you out of your money. call social security directly and NOT by pushing the #1 button on the phone. they will tell you its a scam.

  4. I had a call just the other day! Had to fill out a report. If it had not of been for my roommate, I probably would have give information! I just don’t think about it because I am not that type of person. I would never do someone that way, therefore i do not think about others doing that way. It is really sad to think how far people go to cheat someone else out of money instead of getting it by working for it, like the world owes them or something!!

  5. Yes, I have received phone calls of this nature many times!
    How dare they! I sure hope they get caught & punished severely!

    Thank you for posting this notice!

  6. They have also resolved to sending text messages to cell phones attaching a link to reply to for further information. DON’T open the link. Report and Block these numbers. Unfortunately, even after blocking scam numbers they still may access your voicemail and leave fraudulent messages.

  7. I received a scam email letter a few days ago. If you are even a little diligent, they are very easy to spot. The wording looks like a third grader composed it and it gets worse toward the end of the spoof. I think it’s kind of funny that someone who can hack into your email is stupid enough to use words like “dear”! Just read a few lines and DON’T automatically assume it’s a legitimate letter. Pay attention to the details.

  8. Received one of these calls approx 2 weeks ago wanting me to send money to somewhere, asked a couple of questions and they hung up. Da..Da..

  9. A good part is that a lot of ‘seniors’ still don’t have ‘computers’ and so are not vulnable to emails, but others are so gullible that many will believe it came from the Government!

  10. I received a letter today from SSA. I have till the 15th to prove I only worked 3 months since 2010. I have everything documented, fortunately. But, I thought the disabled had 9 months to decide if they can do the job. So much, for ticket to work. I am now 66 years old. But, my medicare has been canceled twice and reinstated each time. The form said they have no payroll entered, yet I have confirmation from SSA from when I mailed in pay stubs. Seems there should be a standard that needs to be corrected. Thanks, Beckie

    • Hi Dale. 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.

  11. My name is Robert Charles Casey and I receive SSDI benefits. I just received a call from a number 855-339-3959 stating they have received suspicious activity and that my social security number is suspended.

  12. Dear Sirs:
    I received a phone call from phone #443-671-5890.
    Stating fraudulent use of Social Security and an arrest warrant is issued for me.
    I am notifying your Office of this, I believe is a phony call.
    Thank you
    Terry Holst
    3024 W.11th Street
    Davenport, Iowa 52804
    Phone 563-650-8935

    • Hi Terry. 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.

  13. The phone scammers are better at catching Social Security disability fraudsters than the SSA OIG. They get the Social Security disability fraudsters to pay out money.

    Social Security disability beneficiaries are required to report when the go back to work. They try to hide their work. Then they commit fraud on the short form CDR by giving false statements that they haven’t worked.

    Under the CDR review, they will be consider to have medical improvement no matter how small the improvement. At Step 4 of the CDR review, their MI doesn’t relate to the ability to work. Then at Step 5 of the CDR review, they will be terminated for fraud.

    The proposed frequency of review will not significantly increase the number of people taken off the disability roll by adding an additional category.

    The SSA should take a zero tolerance stance to disability fraud. Making false statements is a felony committed in conjunction with the disability review process. They committed a felony for giving false statements about their disability and they are no longer credible.

    • The SSA doesn’t need the new CDR review category of Medical Improvement Likely to go after people who were approved at Step 5 of the initial claim.

      If the commit fraud during the review process by giving false statements, then they will never make it to Steps 6, 7, and 8 of the CDR review. Committing a felony should be punished. The SSA just hands out free taxpayers money to disability fraudsters.

    • If the fraudsters meet or equal the listing, then it is solely based on medical evidence. Meeting the listing at Step 2 of the CDR review process would not result in any further steps.

      The fraudsters who do not meet or equal the listing are subject to further review steps including Step 5 Exceptions

      Disability is a finding of fact. They are caught red handed giving false statements and committing a felony. They lied and are not credible witnesses to their disability.

  14. A friend of mine came from Ireland. She is a legal resident. These scammers had her so upset for days, and being in her sixties made it worse. They told her she was going to be deported and she would loose her Social Security. Please Beware, do not believe what these people are saying.

  15. Good advice. There are more and more seemingly “convincing” scams online or on the phone nowadays.

    I, personally, have experienced numerous attempts via phone from “Microsoft” telling me that, because of detected hacking, I must go online and follow necessary instructions…otherwise big trouble. Clever people, clever words, but suspicious accents. When this happens I always give the caller my most sincere derogatory wishes and hang up Basta.
    Unfortunately, there are many copycat scammers so this has happened multiple times, although not concerning Social Security…yet!

    Be alert: If it sounds too good to be true …it isn’t. If it’s threatening without prior communication and proof…it’s a scam. At all times we have to be vigilant thinkers.

  16. On the Dark web on Agartha marketplace and others you will find the user called Sicario999
    and right now there is a 3.5 BTC finders fee to anybody who can bring me this guys real personal details and address.
    If you ever encounter this guy you will be defrauded for sure if you make any business with him, let us put an ending to it instead

    Wickr id: sicario999
    Telegram: sicario999
    Whatsapp: +1 781 667 3317
    Text and phone +1 781 667 3317
    Protonmail: sicario9@protonmail.com

    Extra 1BTC reward if you can get this mans family addresses too

  17. 1/13/2020 9;;45 am
    Just received a phone call on my home phone telling me that my social Security number and driver’s license has been blocked. I only answered because it was a New York # and we have customers from NY…The number was 1-332-255 2017theperson claimed to be an “Agent with SS” I responded and said “You re not an agent and a scam and I am reporting you do not call this number again” and hung up Why can’t the phone companies do something about these calls.There is so much technology and they can listen to us with certain devices so why can’t they do something about this??????

  18. I want to know about the “Restart” program. I am 76 years old and took my SS at age 66 and would like to know what I can do to increase my benefit.

    Many thanks for your reply.

    Charley Anton

  19. I have received three phone calls with in the last two months, a person claiming to be police officers who work with the Social Security administration. They tried to get me to give up all my personal information and so forth. And even threatened to have me arrested.

  20. Senior Citizens need to be aware of Scammers using the tactics of “Your computer has been compromised with virouses and malware and needs to be cleaned” the problem is they move your Hard-drive contents into their “servers” and demand money !! Such as 499.00 and below ! Ex-employees of Norton, McCaffey have the techniques to enter your computer using “Back door” software to get into your PC. This has happened to me and I lost ALL the contents of my HD. The company is out of Minniapolis, MN.

  21. I had all my crypto investments stored in my digital wallet when a software update messed everything up. I could no longer get the software program to work to access my private keys so I could trade my currencies. Thank goodness Bitcoin Recovery Co. came to the rescue. Within a matter of days, the problem was fixed and I’m now able to access my wallet again. Thanks Owenbarreth on GMX Mail

  22. With all the scams out there and getting worse how do I know I am safe using the Social Security “My Social Security Account”? I have been receiving SS (67yrs old) yet continuing to work full time. I would like to create an account however working for a police department (admin.) for 35 years has made me wonder how long will SS be able to remain safe without being hacked? I’m not asking what forms of safety you use just if everyone’s account information is protected since our SS numbers and personal information being the most confidential in life, am I going to be safe if I open a My SS Account?

  23. here are two numbers that have called on our landline(01/14/2020, 01/15/2020) from the “dept of social security administration stating that my social security number has been suspended due to fraudulent activity; for more information, press 1; BLOCKED these numbers 705 684-8301, 705 374-8584; These scammers call from multiple numbers; These robo calls need to STOP; very annoying

  24. I received a voicemail today stating:
    Would be considered an intentional attempt to avoid an initial appearance before the magistrate judge and lead to Social Security card suspension your Case ID 99298 for more information on your case please call our investigation department on 855-273-7972 I repeat 855-273-7972 we would be glad to share in the kiss information and help you get the

    I had a feeling this wasn’t from SSA. Please let me know if I was correct or not. Thank you in advance.

  25. My name Is Jannes Sullivan
    I got a call from Texas officer Lewis Marshall today concerning my social security number & my name was used buying a car which they find in Texas. On side road had blood in it plus drugs too in the car ugh what the heck going on I never been to Texas ever I told him …but my car was broken into month of 12 year of 2015 I called S.S office let them know too got new SS card & license replace too.. while going into a divorce police report was made my purse was in it & Christmas gifts too … nothing was done people did it never got caught ..Bessemer police made a report ..

    years later by Then my truck got broken into purse got stolen pelham Alabama while I was at YMCA gym these people never got caught all this I told officer Lewis Marshall .. tried get my S.S card replace on line but couldn’t do it cause they said I had have get pass port I never heard of that ..
    Trying get this straighten out .. Any way can help me figure out what’s going on ..
    Looks like Officer from Texas trying charge me for drug tracking which I never been to Texas in my left…

  26. I just want you to know that they tried today to pull that scam on me. They called from phone number 203 781 6909. Hope it helps.

  27. I just got an email that looks suspicious says to contact Jeremiah Williams at 1-866-431-3875 ext 31336-says need to talk to me about reviewing my earnings record and other benefits i may be able to receive. Is this a legit email?

  28. I believe that someone called me with a phone scam. Their phone number is 800-008-1498.
    The recorded message said my SSAN was suspended because of fraud.

  29. Got a call from 719 212 4550 (listed as Cheyenne Wells CO,) stated he was with social security administration. When I asked a question about what office this was, he hung up.

  30. Fraud you should be aware of PREMERE LAW FIRM MIN MIN USA . THEY DID FRAUD WITH MY SSI NUMBER SWITCHED OUT MY TID NUMBER WITH ANOTHERS AND PUT THAT PERSON TO WORK AFTER THE SWITCH STLLL HAVE NOT ALLOWED ME TO WORK WITH THE ATTACKS AND ALIENATION WITH THE LOCAL PUBLIC AND DID IT ALL TO STEAL BILLIONS I HAD IN FED RESERVE AND TRANSFERED OVER TO MEDICARE ACCOUNTS AND LAUNDERED IT THUS . A REAL NIGHTMARE GOVT CORRUPTION FROM MINNESOTA TO NEW YORK TO NEW MEXICO PREMERE LAW FIRM AND NMTRD EQUILS FRAUD…..ps new Mexico DistrictAttorneys office and the NMBAR SYSTEM AND POLICE AND PUBLIC SAFETY HAVE TARGETED ME FOR YEARS AND EVEN SET UP FAULSE CHARGES AND FORCED ME TO PLEAD GUILTY AND SO MUCH MORE FOR THIS MONEY I DIDNT EVEN KNOW I HAD AT FIRST . WELL NOW THERE IS NONE BUT THE COMMUNITY GOVT CORRUPTION IS ALMOST SEEMELESS AND THE VICTOMS ARE WELL I WANT TO SUSCIDE DAILY THANKS TO THIS WONDERFUL TORTURE LIVE BROADCASTING THE DPS IS DOING WITH MY PERSONAL LIFE….

  31. I received so many phone calls telling me I am under arrest and I have to fly to a certain place to be arrested. So crazy! Sometimes I am instructed to send some money after telling me some invented offenses. I just hung up. Its good I can report these to a secure website.

  32. I am living in Mexico and my friend says that she is working with SS through their office in Mexico City.
    Is it true that you have an office in Mexico City?

  33. My name is Jorick Har ris and I recently was awarded my SSI. So I considered going online to open a my social security account. But for some unknown reason I can’t open it. On top of that, I am receiving my monthly benefits, but it’s been almost a year for retroactive pay to be received. I am nervous that my social security number may be getting used.

  34. Just got 2 more phone calls about my Social Security having illegal activities Been having these calls for over a year now

  35. 880-035-8444 called me today saying my SSN has been suspended. I knew it was a spam call. Just thought I’d give everyone a heads up.

  36. Was just called by 800 number from “social Security “did not respond.They said there was a “discrepancy “ in my as number

  37. Why doesn’t the SSA do something to stop these fraudsters?! Why doesn’t the SSA pursue these fraudsters? My co-worker has received five calls in less than 24 hours! It is outrageous. Why doesn’t the SSA help keep us from being harassed in this manner?

  38. this was so helpful as I had received a call saying that my Social Security number was involved in an a fraudulent use of the number and if I wanted to avoid prosecution to press 1 on my cell pho I knew it was a scam. However I did report it to Kansas Attorney General’s Office.

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