Inspector General Warns Public About Social Security Advisory Board-Related Scam

The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public about a new variation of increasingly common government employee impersonation scams, this time involving the Social Security Advisory Board. The Advisory Board has reported that individuals are receiving scam phone calls displaying the board’s phone number on caller ID. The callers are reportedly attempting to obtain personal information, including Social Security numbers. If you receive this type of call, you should not engage with the caller or provide personal information or money in response to requests or threats.

These callers are employing tactics similar to impersonation schemes involving the IRS, SSA, and the SSA OIG. Inspector General Ennis advises that callers may use a variety of false scenarios or threats to obtain personal information or payments, often requested through gift cards or prepaid debit cards.

However, the Social Security Advisory Board typically does not contact the general public to request personal information over the phone. Moreover, government employees will never threaten you to obtain personal information or payments. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up.

“This caller-ID spoofing scheme has unfortunately evolved to include the Social Security Advisory Board, but it is the same type of scam, attempting to mislead people by using the trusted name of Social Security,” Inspector General Ennis said. “I encourage everyone to alert your family and friends about how common these scams are, and to be very cautious when speaking with unknown callers, even if you recognize the caller ID.”

Inspector General Ennis urges the public not to provide sensitive information over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it. You should also never wire money or add money to a prepaid debit card to pay for any official government service.

If you receive a suspicious call, you may report that information online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report or by calling (800) 269-0271, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams:  https://identitytheft.gov/ssa.

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46 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns Public About Social Security Advisory Board-Related Scam

  1. Thank you so much..this link can really help those like me I’m in a wheelchair and have been since 2002 . I had a Dr who told me I had to start walking but to do that I need a ton of physical therapy when I was young all the muscles on one side of my body were stunted and stopped growing.

  2. I receive 2-5 calls every day from these people telling me this is my last chance to give them information before the police come to my door and arrest me. I just hang up on them. They are also targeting my mother and I have told her to hang up on them also.

  3. I have reason to believe that my ssn has been acquired by a computer scam group of India based of Indians. They are a scam group trying to access personal representing themselves as being part of MSN. They have hacked two of my credit cards. I got that stopped my changing my accounts. I have no way of knowing how they intend to use this information.

  4. Kindly inform me why my SSA monthly benefit was reduced to some USD 250 from some USD 673.

    I am 77 with congestive heart failure.

    Thank you.

    • That never happens. You will get a Notice of Planned Action prior to anything happening to your payment, telling you why there is a change.

  5. Is there a way to know if a call is not fraudulent? I recently filed for benefits and have gotten several calls from someone saying they are from SSA. I don’t want to jeopardize my claim status if this is a real call. It is difficult for me to accommodate the SSA 800 number wait time and the callback feature failed twice on my mobile phone.

  6. I do not answer these calls. However, I couldn’t reach a live person at either Social Security or the Inspector General’s number to ask a simple question. I have received 4 calls within 2 days leaving a message that my Social Security Number had been suspended and to call certain numbers. I assumed that if that is true, S.S. A. would find a more secure method to let me know. However, it would have been better for me if I could have spoken with a “live” person.

  7. This announcement was very helpful. My suspicious call came in the form of a voicemail (from a number in PA) and said that my Social Security number had been “suspend” as opposed to suspended. The voicemail said to press one in order to speak with someone about this.

    • Samething been happening to me the past week. I received 3 calls, “ your social security number have been suspended due a suspicious activity, if you want to know more about it press 1. I hang up and never press anything. The calling number is a Pennsylvania number .

      • Same here. PA and now TX. “legal enforcement action has been filed on your ssn for fraudulent activity….kindly call us. Do not disregard this notice or we will proceed with legal action.” I blocked both numbers and received another call this morning from USA. I refuse to answer these calls. But they are alarming.

        • Hi Cat. 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.

  8. A couple of weeks ago, I got a voicemail that my social security number was suspended from fraudulent activities. Knowing this was false, i didn’t respond back to the call. The next day, I
    received another call from some guy again claiming that my social security number was suspended. I asked him where he’s calling from and he said he’s calling from the social security office in Rockville Maryland. I asked him for his name and ID number before I would we speak any further but he quickly hanged up. People need to be aware that they’re in control of their lives.

  9. Don’t you think you would have figured a way to prevent this from happening so much? The number of scams that we are subjected to is criminal. It’s very difficult for elderly individuals to be bombarded like this. Please help

  10. If you receive a scam call from Fake “Social Security” scam then don’t answer your phone when your caller ID and ignore the call!!

  11. I am so heart felt for those on limited income 😭😢 and for those who only receive Social Security Benefits like I do. My heart goes to the less fortunate and I pray 🙏 for better days for the better of the kind society we can be. One note:. Hang-up on those that claim to be Social Security and other Agencies… Blessings to the good heartedness of all.

  12. Interstate(or metro area) business abusers use even more deceptive modes of com than just radio or telephone

  13. I have been getting calls that say my social security number has been cancelled do to suspicious activity, so mark or call number one to investigate. And of course I know its a “scam” and I just delete it. I got three of those calls today, I just laugh and delete.

    • While you’re at it restrict users on Facebook and never post ID information about you or your family members. Trust me, those who really need to know your DOB already know it.

  14. I too been getting phone calls saying they’re from social security and that my SSI number has been expired due to some suspicious activity to click on 1 on my phone to talk to talk to an agent about the problem. But I didn’t cause I thought it was strange and I hung up and said to myself they will send me a letter if they need to talk to me. I also realise I don’t have anything to worry about cause there isn’t anything I did anyways.

  15. Copycash Currency equation
    50$
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    Where can you get one dollar
    before you drop too you street death
    Copycash currency different proportionally time money’s equally deposit too each
    time money hours with units
    Debit cards

  16. I been receiving automated message stating my social security number has been compromised and will close my account, I’m fairly certain this is a scam to get everyone’s social security number?.

    • Hi, Nikki. Keep in mind we do not usually make random calls. If 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.

  17. I m 80 years old My wife passed away on March 29 2012 & my only son at 48 years old on march 15 2011 I been claiming my survivor rights plus the years I worked in I,T,T as an accountant & I d been unsuccessful I m alone and I can , survive with $-780.00 per months

    • Hi, Enrique. We are to hear about your situation. 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 may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps!

  18. This article was hard to read–small, light print. Aimed at seniors, should be easier to read. But, thanks for the important message!

  19. This is on-going; and yet the SSA or Our Federal government does very little!!?? – It would be easy to prosecute the criminal phone companies involved. So get busy Congress on this WMD , or continue to do Nothing as usual.

  20. I think they should go after these scam artists even if they are over sea’s. Yes it will cost the government some money but we are sick and tired of the scams. The only thing the scam artists understand is a very long time in prison.

  21. Yes I think this has happened to me..
    My passport and my social security card has been stolen I keep getting calls from this place about disability stuff I don’t know what’s going on but my life is destroyed

  22. Another scam to look out for,
    I know I have personally received at least half a dozen of these calls. Someone calls saying that are from the US Federal Grant Department and that your phone number has been randomly selected from a group determined to be eligible because they have paid their taxes and dont show a bankruptcy in the past year. You are being given a one time grant award of $14,000 and change I dont Remember the exact amount. But between 14 and 15K. It’s yours to do with as you please and doesn’t have to be repaid. All you have to do is give them your bank acct information, your bank card information or a prepaid credit card account information for them to deposit the grant money on. I told the callers I dont give out that information they could send me a check.. They replied that they couldn’t do that. They could only direct deposit the funds. I called Bullshit and told them they were scammers. And they hung up on me.

  23. social security details are confidential. I got this kinda call regarding details of my SSI. They bug me most of the time by telling that this is the last chance to avail social security facilities.
    Thank you for sharing this information to aware people about the these spammers.

    • Hello Maria. 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

  24. Received a call from “the department of social security” advising me that my social security number had been cancelled. The call came from (800) 099-7282. This was a message on my voicemail. Thanks.

    • Hi Michael. 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.

  25. I received a phone call that stayed my ss acoustic has been suspended for suspicious activity. What should I do

  26. Dear Mr Cannarsa: Thx for helping protect us from criminals. I just got a strange voice mail from tel no 1-802-723-0251, Island Pond, VT (?): “We just suspend your soc. sec. # bec. we found suspicious activity. This is SSA please call us back option 1”. Pl forward to appr. office/agencies. Thank you for your help. Mr Joaquin C. Armendariz. PS: Many retired folks could be trained to use cyber tools to augment various agencies efforts against these criminals. Just a suggestion.

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