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 6 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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248 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.

      • I have been receiving these calls all week. The numbers have been from NY and California. I never pick up the phone. I let them leave their automated robotic message on the answering machine. I have never called back. I figured this was a scam. To make sure I went to my ss account and saw that everything was ok. These people are lazy and do not want to work. I hope they find a way to catch them and arrest them. Thanks for the info SS.

        • I just received a scam call today. Saying that my SS number has been suspended do to suspicious use. And I should them back to take care of this. I’m not stupid, so no, not calling back. This must be happening to a lot of people. Because when I tried to report it, the wait time is 45 minutes. The call was coming from Mechanicsburg, PA.

          • We have received four phone calls this week alone stating the same thing Tracy. They came from two different 800 numbers, one private number, and one blocked number. My husband is going to report this to the information on this website.

          • I just received the same call today. I told him I was going to call my local social security office.

          • I got 3 the past few days. They state my account is suspended for suspicious activity and to call them and press 1
            These people need to be traced and arrested.

          • Ha getting that same call now…tried blocking the number but it still comes through its a 1-800-004-1024 number that so say operator isn’t a correct number go figure!!

        • I get the calls all the time too. I scared the last one that called. He actually hung up on me!! After he gave his speech I said “oh my, could you hold on a minute so I can get a pen and some paper please” He said “OK”. I got back on the line and said “Thank you for waiting. I had to turn on my descrambler. Now I know exactly where you are and the authorities are on their way”. He hung up. I haven’t gotten another call from him. The number on my phone was #37235.What kind of a number is that anyway?

        • Ana – When you actually try to call their number back, it won’t go through. They are trying to catch people at home and scare them into giving info. That’s another way to know it’s a scam. Craziness and Laziness! You’re right!

        • You people have so many unnecessary telephone numbers that it’s almost impossible to get in touch with the correct number for help anyway. Keep up with the great work helping the wrong people! That’s our tax money going towards and bad Gov.joke.

    • I just received a call from 678-666-0235 claiming to be social security about a suspension on my social security number. I did not speak to them as I do not answer numbers I do not recognize.

  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.

    • Same here. I had 18 calls from these scammers in one day and I kept blocking the number over and over but they just used a new one. The addresses were from all over the US. It was obvious to me when the computer said press 1 to speak with a SSA officer and I heard their very third world sounding accent and 100 others in the background that is was fraud. But there should be some way to stop this. I’m sick and this creates a lot of stress for me making all my diagnosis worse.

      • Hi, Mindy. We take allegations of fraud very seriously. If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse of Social Security benefits, we encourage you to report it. 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. Thanks also for helping us fight fraud.

        • Hi there. I could not figure out how to make my own comment thread but I felt the need to make one so I responded here. I just had a few calls this morning and so I go to this article that tells me to call 1-800-269-0271. So I call it and then it tells you to call a completely different number. I stay on the line in hopes that I will get someone. I spent almost 9 minutes until I got to talk with someone. They were not even from that 1-800-269 number they were from the Federal Trade Commission. I just wanted to provide some feedback that this is very frustrating. I work with Elderly Victims of Crime and I will never give this number out to report suspicious calls because they do not have the patience to wait almost 10 minutes to talk to a live person AND they do not have the patience to call a number the Social Security Administration tells them to call and then be told on an automated system they called the wrong number and need to call a different one. They will get frustrated and hang up. I got quite frustrated. It is no wonder folks do not report suspicious activity to stop this type of harassment of calls. I hope you guys take this feedback and do something to provide better customer service. Thank you.

          • Hello,
            I am so frustrated from these calls, I too receive two to 6 calls every week. For awhile it was two to three a day. They are so tricky. I have reported the calls in the beginning to the worlds trade commission, there’s so many calls I continuously receive that I have created a spoof call lists and when I receive the ssi scam calls I hang up and add the number to the Spoof contact category. I do this for two reasons, one to include in my next report to the worlds trade commission, (give them all at once) next report, and the second so I can be aware of them calling then I d o not need to answer Today I actually received yet another call and this time I tell
            the scammer that I don’t believe him, and do you know thus guy replies back with this ” why, what happened”? I just hung up, geewhiz.!!

            Hello,
            Look I agree, it is very frustrating. Everything you stated that happens is true!!
            So it’s like pass the buck to the
            automatd system right? Meanwhil these caller’s get valuable personal info. Prey on everyone, not just the elderly. I am not elderly but they managed to much info from me. They get creative, and I do mean this with all respects, I have noticed that 95% of the calls I receive from people claiming to be from SS office have a foreign accent, not American.

        • I just received a VM saying that there is a suspension notice against my SS# from the federal crime and investigation services. I’m instructed to call this # 571-200-2469. I did not call back. I went to “My Social Security” and everything looks fine there.

      • Yep, always the scan caller’s have accents!! I’m sick of them. They keep calling from all different numbers, out if all states. I told the l last caller I had that I don’t believe him and I reported them to the WTC and his reply was “why, what happened”?
        I screamed at him “Social security office does not call people, they do not call hones” I hung up!

    • Hello,
      I am so frustrated from these calls, I too receive two to 6 calls every week. For awhile it was two to three a day. They are so tricky. I have reported the calls in the beginning to the worlds trade commission, there’s so many calls I continuously receive that I have created a spoof call lists and when I receive the ssi scam calls I hang up and add the number to the Spoof contact category. I do this for two reasons, one to include in my next report to the worlds trade commission, (give them all at once) next report, and the second so I can be aware of them calling then I d o not need to answer Today I actually received yet another call and this time I tell
      the scammer that I don’t believe him, and do you know thus guy replies back with this ” why, what happened”? I just hung up, geewhiz.!!

    • I am savvy enough to recognize these scammers. The IRS and SSA do not call people. Firefighter and police departments do not solicit as charities to the public. I fear for my fellow seniors some who are in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, or are just not tech savvy. Is there anyone out there who can protect them?

      • Hi Jenny, some of the police departments in Northern CA do solicit to the public via phone calls. They are usually looking for sponsors for softball or some other games they play with the local kids.

    • Someone just called me 405-713-1000 and said there was suspicious activity regarding my ss# and unless I talked with them a warrant will be put out for my arrest! If I wanted to talk to an officer press 1. I. pressed 1 and someone identifying themselves as an officer began asking me questions bells and whistles went off in my head and hung up
      I called the OIG 800-269-0271 and got into a jungle of teleprompters. It was impossible to talk to a person. This only increases my anxiety level .Has anyone found a solution?

      • Hello Scott. 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.

  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.

    • Don’t believe those caller’s !!!
      Social security will mail you a letter if they want to talk to you. They rarely Rarely RARELY will call

    • Ssa will never call you on the phone.ever. unless you call them and request a call back due to high call volume and wait time……again SSA will never call you.ever .

  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.

          • I received a call today, saying to press one for more info. They said there was criminal fraudulent activity in Texas with someone using my SS number. They gave me an ID case number, a warrant number, their name and badge number….. I verified my SS number. They said they were suspending it and issuing me a new one. I was then transferred to another “supervisor” who confirmed all this. We lost connection and I did not hear back. I told them I wanted everything in writing….. Was it real?

          • I have received 5 calls today they always leave a robot message with the same info about my as number. I used a random phone and called the number back it was an Indian accent. I will never answer this. Just wonder how they decide who to target?

          • Mr. Luis A.,
            Please read all of these comments!!!!!!!
            Thus problem is out of control. Mostly all if the comments are stating the same issue, and btw.. all if the scenarios that folks described the caller’s are saying ..they do say that. They use the fear factor … preying. Now that is a form terrorism.

        • Yes, I received this same call today as a robo call saying that enforcement action has been filed against my SSN and to all the TX number back right away. I was concerned and called the number back, the person on the line wanted to verify my information and asked for a case # so that they can look up the information along with my SSN. They asked me for my middle name and then I hung up. They were very aggressive, I don’t usually call these lines but was caught off guard

    • I have been getting 3-4 a day as well. I am in Texas. The call is from NY. I finally answered it They asked me to verify my SS number. I said! No! You called me ! You obviously have it. So you verify it to me! They hung up and I have not gotten any more calls. Yeah me!!

  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!!

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