Inspector General Warns Public About Phone Scheme Targeting Former Conn Clients

woman looking at cell phone Gale Stallworth Stone, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, is warning citizens about a phone scheme allegedly targeting former clients of Kentucky disability attorney Eric C. Conn.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have received reports that Kentucky citizens who used Conn’s law firm to assist with applying for Social Security disability benefits have recently received suspicious calls from people claiming to be from SSA.

According to reports, the callers claim to be from SSA and offer citizens $9,000 from a “Conn Client Compensation Fund” if the citizens send $200 to the “Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”  The number associated with these calls is 202-681-5115.  Those who have sent money have received additional calls; some callers report that citizens can receive greater compensation amounts if they send more money, while others threaten that citizens will be arrested if they do not send additional funds.

The Acting Inspector General is alerting citizens that SSA personnel are not making these calls, and the compensation fund described in the calls does not exist.

“This scheme appears to target economically vulnerable citizens and use scare tactics to defraud them of their resources,” Acting Inspector General Stone said.  “Citizens should be very careful and avoid engaging with these suspicious callers.  If an unknown person pressures you on the phone into providing payments for odd reasons, don’t think twice about hanging up.”

If a person receives a similar suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA or 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.  (Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals can call SSA’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)

Conn pleaded guilty in federal court in March 2017 to participating in a scheme with a former SSA administrative law judge and multiple doctors that involved the submission of thousands of falsified medical documents to SSA to support disability applications.  As a result of the scheme, Conn and his co-conspirators obligated SSA to pay $550 million in lifetime benefits for these fraudulent submissions.  Conn is scheduled to be sentenced in July 2017; however, on June 2, 2017, he removed his electronic monitoring device and fled.  On June 3, 2017, the FBI issued an arrest warrant for Conn for violating the conditions of his bond.

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28 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns Public About Phone Scheme Targeting Former Conn Clients

  1. Yes I got a call about 6 or 8 weeks ago and I called the SSA office and they told me the SSA well never notify me by phone. They will send me a notice in the mail only.

  2. Thank you very hard writing I have MS from year 2005 before I working now no wife divorse now I no walking bad balance social security pay me 318 dollar hard to live this money you understend me if you healp I be very Happy for your healping

  3. Please tell me that you are not saying that SSA is “obligated” to continue paying claims filed using fraudulent documents once the fraud is detected????

    • Social Security aggressively investigates allegations of fraud and aggressively pursues prosecution of people who commit fraud. Our message to those who attempt to defraud Social Security is clear: We will find you; we will prosecute you; we will seek the maximum punishment under the law, and we will fight to restore the money you’ve stolen from the American people.

    • Yeah, that jumped out at me too. Either the patients are eligible for the coverage or they arent, why would SSA pay fraudulent claims ($550 million???) to people signed up through a scammer, if indeed it IS a scam? Maybe it requires doing all that work over again, but only people who are eligible should get assistance. Maybe publish a photograph of the guy. He could be anywhere, maybe we’d recognise him, and turn him in.

  4. I got 8 final notice calls on my answering machine yesterday saying the IRS is going to sue me & I should call the number. These scammers never give up.

  5. I have received calls about assistance for disability help I already have it they keep calling and the phone is on TiVo call.

  6. As a non-attorney representative for Social Security disability claimants, I am appalled that innocent claimants and ethical representatives must pay for the sins of Eric Conn. He is a disgusting heap of humanity. I hope he is caught soon and brought to justice. He has wreaked havoc on too many people. We are not all Eric Conns. I know of no other representatives who behave the way Conn did. Claimants deserve the benefit (so to speak) of the doubt. Most attorneys, representatives, claimants, and judges are honorable. I hope the SSA pendulum of thought will swing back to one of trust.

  7. I myself get calls daily. I have gotten calls from a kid named Joe, telling me I will receive $9, 000.00 today if I call another # which is suppose to be the Government treasury. I asked him questions and he being from another country.
    Look up the scams on line. Be up to date on the different scams. I have laughed at people that acted nervous during their little scam speech. I hung up on them as I laughed.

    • What a great giveaway! I would definitely be sending one to the love of my life (P)! We're often in different st/iesacountrtes so he always appreciates a few words to let him know I'm thinking about him.Have a great long weekend!!

  8. I just received this email and believe it is a scam. Please read all the way through to the end of email as if this gets to others, they may give out their bank account numbers and lose their SS benefits because of this…..Thank you for checking into this as there is too much of this going on via phone and email. (see below):

    𝕌𝕣𝕘𝕖𝕟𝕥: Special situation involving the Social Security Administration
    𝕀𝕞𝕡𝕠𝕣𝕥𝕒𝕟𝕥 ℕ𝕖𝕨𝕤

    Today, 10:53 AM
    You
    Dear _______ ,

    Did you know that some Americans are getting as much as $6,235 deposited directly into their accounts…

    Even though they’re not old enough to collect on Social Security benefits?

    It’s all thanks to a little-known contract involving the Social Security Administration.

    And don’t worry….

    Because these deposits come from the private sector, they don’t affect your ability to collect on Social Security.

    Click here to see how you can get your name on the list of recipients.

    But hurry..

    By law, you must act before January 15 in order to get your first deposit.

    Don?’t waste any time. There’s a lot of money involved.

    Last year alone, $122 million was paid out.

    Click here to see how you can claim your piece of the pie.

    Regards,

    Joe Schriefer
    Publisher, Agora Financial

    To be removed please Unsubscribe here or write to:
    616 Corporate Way Ste.2-9092
    Valley Cottage, NY 10989

    • Please be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, or email messages. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company. Avoid providing personal information unless you are certain of a person’s authority to have the information. In a few instances, we will use marketing firms to help raise awareness of Social Security’s online services, and this includes creating a “my Social Security account“. We allow these firms to send E-mails that will take individuals directly to our website. Any links that you find within these E-mails should always point to a “.gov” web address. If you are not certain that an E-mail you received came from Social Security or one of our marketing partners, DO NOT click the link. Visit our “Internet Phishing Alert” web page to learn more about how to detect a fraudulent E-mail message. We thank you for sharing this type of information.

  9. Please also be prepared for an increase in scams once states forward much of your personal info to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,The more personal information that is shared the greater the odds for scams and ID theft. Many states are not complying but there are some that are. Good luck to us all.

  10. The SSA is not refusing to correct/dismiss my overpayments and has now started taking money from my Social Security Benefits to pay my overpayment they say I owe. I have worked since High School, Social Security is telling me I will receive the same amount I get now even after I can not work any more. I need help with this issue soon. The SSA is keeping me below the poverty line and I need a Law Judge. I am working now because what SSA is giving me is not enough to live on.

  11. Thank you for the information that has been delivered very useful for myself and hopefully bermanfaa also for oarng others who read it, always healthy regards and always glorious, awaited return visit.
    thank you

  12. And an administrator blog judge was involved on this game, that sucks!

    We wait forever to see in a Social Security disability insurance work benefits and then there’s people like him around. I hope they were dearly sentenced.

  13. I received a Straw Pole brochure to help Pres.Trump pass the new SS Guarantee Act. from: Coalition to Guarantee Soc.Sec. c/o Christian Seniors Assoc. P.O. Box 7103 Merrifield, VA 22116-7103. They request money and answers to 6 questions.
    Is it another way to get funds or is it a legitimate attempt to insure benefits? Or just what? I believe the group is listed as an unfavorable organization to all citizens.

  14. Got this phone call yesterday… here the message left on my phone…

    “Force meant agencies to soon as your Social Security number on the _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ as we have received this is precious trails of the information in your name the moment you receive this message I need you to get back to me on my _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ 240-900-4887 I repeat 240-900-4887 terrified of the last four digits of your Social Security number when you call to better assist you with this issue now _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ from you we will have to issue an arrest warrant under your name and get you arrested so get back to me as soon as possible thank you…”

  15. I just received a phone call and it was a recording from a phone number in Iowa, 319 284 8265, (I live in Calif) stating that I needed to press #1 to clear a “suspicious” activity on my SS benefits? When I spoke with a person with a heavy accent, he asked me for my full name to “Start the paperwork to clear this situation”. When I told him NO, that this was a SCAM. He hung up! Had I given him my name, his next request would be for my SS # and bank account #, and etc. Can something be done about these people who call on us retired folks, attempting to, and sometimes successful at ripping us off? This is criminal! These people need to be caught and punished to the max! Thank you for reading this, it will probably continue to happen to unsuspecting retirees.

    • Hello Gene. Social Security Administration (SSA) employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employee may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen to confirm personal information over the phone.
      The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which receives and analyzes public complaints related to identity theft, recently reported to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) an increase in reports of suspicious phone calls from people claiming to be SSA employees.
      If a person receive suspicious calls or has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA or the OIG, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Citizens may -also- report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report. Thanks!

  16. I received a call on my cell phone which stated My social security number had been suspended due to FRAUD. I have been attempting to get thru to someone to discuss further as I am on Social Security.

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