Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Employee Impersonation Scheme

woman looking at cell phone The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is warning citizens about a new Social Security Administration (SSA) employee impersonation scheme.  SSA and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have recently alerted citizens about an OIG employee impersonation scheme and a scheme targeting former clients of Kentucky disability attorney Eric Conn; the agencies are now receiving reports from citizens across the country about other phone calls from an individual posing as an SSA employee.  The caller attempts to acquire personally identifiable information from victims to then edit the victims’ direct deposit, address, and telephone information with SSA.

The reports indicate that the impersonator calls from a telephone number with a 323 area code.  The caller claims to be an SSA employee, and in some instances, tells the victim that they are due a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase of their Social Security benefits.  The impersonator goes on to ask the victim to verify all of their personal information including their name, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN), parents’ names, etc. to receive the increase.  If the impersonator is successful in acquiring this information, they use it to contact SSA and request changes to the victim’s direct deposit, address, and telephone information.

SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes.  In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen confirm personal information over the phone.  If a person receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, citizens may report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

Acting Inspector General Stone continues to warn citizens to be cautious, and to avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.  “You must be very confident that the source is the correct business party, and your information will be secure after you release it,” Stone said.

If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—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.  (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)

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114 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Employee Impersonation Scheme

  1. could you make it easier to make a complaint about scam phone calls and #s. I have had 9 calls today, using number from Florida and California. did not answer any of them.

    • 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.

  2. got a call from someone claiming to be ss. telling me to contact them or arrest warrent will be filled. today is 1/23/2020

  3. A man identifying as Officer Jose Anderson from Port Arthur, Texas, called me today claiming that my SS# was being suspended due to fraudulent activities. He said his badge# was JA1803, and my SS# was connected with criminal cases with Bank of America and Wells Fargo accounts regarding the rental of a Toyota Corolla and a motel room where cocaine and blood were found. I gave very non-specific info, because I suspected a scam.

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