Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Employee Impersonation Scheme

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

  1. It’s amazing how many scam phone calls we get from some Indian accent fella who says he is a treasury agent for the IRS the same guy calls two times a week how anybody can fall for these idiots they barely speak English

    • One or twice a month I get a call from people supposed to be a Dell employee. Sometimes a woman, but most of the time a man. The caller is very polite, there is a sound
      as if the person is in a office.

      The callert says that my computer is infected with a virus, and he asks my permission to go inside it, and clean everything.

      Dell does not do it. Be careful, all of you.

      • I get that call at least 3 to 4 times a week. One day I was at work and the call came thru on my area code and like a local call. I answered the call and he proceeds to tell me the above, and I let him know that I sell Dell computers and am a Gov Contractor (which I was) and told him to stop calling me. He then proceeds to call me all kinds of filthy names. I was in shock that these guys are so brave. I was at work and one of my co workers said are you ok after I hung up, and I told him what had just happen. These guys are the scum of the earth.I wish congress would get a handle on these calls and shut these people down. I understand they are now using people in the area where you live phone numbers, to get you to answer the phone. I called one of the numbers back and the guy said I have not
        called you and he had been getting calls all day from people asking the same question. Felt bad for the guy. Crazy.

    • No. I have called my telephone carrier, and I was informed that nothing can be done. Just don’t
      answer the phone.

      • My dear colleagues … I teach communications, and the best reply is silence, listen for 10 sec. and hang up. Any reaction is a response and they’ve got you. Such in-coming calls are usually scams. If you want/need something, you initiate the call. The worst thing is to react to “idiots”. Let them swallow their own poison.

    • Call state Dept.. of Justice, fraud dept., give them the phone number, and a statement. If they tell you it is a civil matter , call Federal Dept. of Justice.

      • I received a call from, 1-800-727-4558 from a person called David Cooper. He claimed to be from the Social Security office in Minneapolis. And I am one of the dumb ones you gave him more information than I should. I will call and report this if I can. Pliease let me know what I can do. Thanks

  2. You have another option, if your phone service provider offers the feature. Block the number(s). If all of us did this, maybe the caller(s) will select an honest profession?

    • My cellphone provider has a “block caller” option on our phones, it is useless it will not block them from repeat calls.

    • I block these numbers all the time. I filled up my 250 spots and had to erase them and start again. The offenders just change the scammed number and call back. I used to hang up on them right away. Now I talked to them to waste their time so they have less time to scam other people. That was the latest info I read to handle them. Of course you have to have the time like I do since I am retired. I also do this with the credit card people that claim to lower my interest. I give them fake numbers. I have called the Attorney General of Florida, the FCC and the FTC and they all tell me there is nothing that can be done to stop them. They are calling from out of the country and spamming the phone numbers. You can get software that will stop robo calls but then you will not receive any. My doctor does robocalling to remind me of appts so I don’t want this option.

      • I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR TROUBLE AND SORRY TO HEAR THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DID NOT HELP YOU YOU DO THE RIGHT THING ON HANGING UP ON THE PEROSN ALOT OF TIMES IF YOU JUST CONTINUE TO HANG UP LATER THE PERSON STOPS CALLING OR CONTACTING YOU CONTINUE TO HANG UP BE CAREFUL

  3. I got approx. 7 voice mails left on my phone saying this was my final notice that IRS was suing me and I should call them immediately. Never called them back. It was coming from 3 different phone numbers. These people need to get real jobs!!

    • If everyone stopped answering the phone commercse as we know it will fail..so we got to get another committee to study the situation get a non partison agreement. Get it into law then see what happens..just kidding..caller ID. Probably the best… maybe we can ask the big banks they got the power so put them to work on the problem

      • The offenders are out of the country and know they can’t be touched. I got that info from the Florida Attorney General’s office. They are spamming their phone numbers so no way to trace the calls.

  4. My phone does not ring. So, I can later in the day find out who really called. I do not answer my phone ever…..

  5. SS should have the same rules as the IRS. No phone contact…only by mail. That would eliminate people trying to determine if it is actually a call from SS.

    • And if you have a pending claim it would delay processing it. Most of us have caller ID and the majority of SS Offices are listed in the phone book. For those with the 1-800 number, get the name of the employee and verify the call by calling either the 1 800 # or the listed #.

      • Phone book? We haven’t had phone books for at least ten years. Young people don’t even know what a phone book is.

    • IRS has not given cases to debt collection agencies that will call. So if you have a debt it would be hard to know the difference. Glad I don’t have debt so I don’t worry. But when IRS did their own collecting it was a good rule to know they never call. Now that has changed.

  6. My stupid ex spouse will likely fall for this one. I can only hope this time she doesn’t provide the scammers with all MY personal information again. So far this year she’s already fallen for the IRS scam and a “student loan rehabilitation” scam (she’s 65 and never attended college nor took out a student loan). Afterwards she calls to “warn” me they’ll be calling ME for payment, as she gives these callers my name, address, SSN, income information, etc. She refuses to believe it was a scam, because “how else would they have known the phone number?” She literally falls for every single scammer that calls, no matter what the scheme, and ALWAYS tells the caller I’m responsible for payment and gives them my information. Unfortunately there’s no way to prevent her from blabbing my personal information to anyone and everyone, no matter how private, confidential, sensitive, or embarrassing it might be. She simply has no boundaries, never has, and I fear it’s getting worse as she ages. She believes everything anyone tells her – except, alas, me. Sometimes I wish I’d entered a monastery high in the Himalayas at the age of 9 . . .

    • It seems that your former wife may not be as naive as you believe. It seems that she is giving her callers your personal info to bother you. That doesn’t show her as stupid. She is making your life less pleasant. That sounds like a successful
      plan on her part.

  7. I immigrated and live in USA, Modesto, CA for over sixteen years. This kind of scam happens everywhere. It is like people robbing window display and fire the store. I personally have experience different kind of scam in several industry or firm. But the most dramatic and ridiculous is housing authority, the voice sound like transgender, male or female , I am not sure, keep on asking for your personal information until the end, you might found something strange and when you ask them back , they say bad words. This kind of people thing they are special, but I think they need to see doctor in mental illness, they are sick.
    In this Social Security Agency newsletter is great, always has people monitor, that help a lot , a lot better. I hope more peace come and evil thought go away.
    I think this all thing is low and very low income people make it up. This kind of people needs a lot , a lot of effort to teach them civil laws, and educate them to be a responsible citizens. A lot of ours will help, but when will it stop.

  8. IN MY COMMENTS.THOSE CHEFT NEED TO KNOW THEIR CAN’T STEEL MONEY FROM SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION.BY CALLING INOCENT PEOPLE I THINK THEIR HAVE TO PUNISH BY FEDERAL LAW OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN BECAUSE WE THE PEOPLE.

  9. I’ve never had one from Dell, but I’ve had several from the “Windows” company. I tell them they must be confused, because I don’t have a computer. They hang up but that doesn’t stop others from calling. There are supposedly hundreds of computer “cafes” all over Africa which is where most of these calls come from. I have also told some of them that there is no “windows” company, it’s microsoft, you dummy!

  10. If you did not initiate the call then dont verify any info if you feel the call is for real tell then they already have info and you wont verify anything. Hang up. Ssa should not have a reason to call you unless you already initiated a call for some kind of info kr help. Besides that i dong know any gov. Agency that takes time out of their busy day to tell you they owe you money if they owe you and pay you they will just direct deposit just like every month you get paid and send you a letter telling you why you got another deposit that month. Dont be stupid in becoming a victim. The process of getting paid is confusing enough but a learning tool. They never just call. Trust no one!

    • SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. 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. Thanks.

    • a co-worker actually had someone from SSA call him because they feared someone else had opened an account in his name and was drawing HIS SS. As it turned out the call was real because the caller had all HIS info. He gave them none. The perp had the ss $ going directly into an account so there was no check with a name on it. They put a stop on the 3rd check and got everything straightened out. The co-worker was also told not to open an account for a couple months to be sure it was all taken care of. These people are not stupid. But I wish they would use their brains for a real job instead of scamming people.

  11. I’d theft is so prevalent and devastating. Wonder why social security is still issuing Medicare cards with your social security number for anyone and everyone to see. There seems to be no urgency to replacing these cards with random numbers linked to your social security number (only linked in social security databases) even though it’s a cheap paper card, and identity theft is rampant for seniors. This is an urgent problem!

    • I hear that’s going to change and everyone will be receiving a new Medicare card with a new number. It couldn’t happen too soon!

  12. On Saturday, I received a call from a different 800 number from someone who claimed he was from Social Security. Since I recently applied for benefits online, I thought maybe it was legitimate, but I called the 1-800-772-1213 number above just to be careful. After waiting on hold for over 15 minutes, the Social Security customer service person said that they were unable to verify anything, that they don’t make calls on Saturdays, and I should call my local social security office or the Office of the Inspector General to report fraud.

    • SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. 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. Thanks.

      • After I posted my comment, I googled the number and found it to be the Chicago Social Security Office. Upon re-reading my Social Security benefit filing material, I learned that Chicago is my field office (even though I live in Minnesota) and that they do contact people on weekends and in the evening. The call was legitimate, and the Customer Service Office 1-800-772-1213 did not provide accurate information to me. It doesn’t hurt to be careful.

  13. There was an attempt on my computer in March of my computer in March. I had to change my bank accounts. I still get calls randomly four to five times a day. I had to change the phone number and still get calls.

  14. Why would anyone need to do direct medicare payments, when the pament is already deducted from our Social security check?

  15. I Could not create my account, and found out that on somebody using m y nickname as a user ID. For the meantime my account is suspended for 24 hours to get back to this creation of account to register. I know lately that my disability benefit I found out that I was entitled to it but in 2010 asking for retroactive benefit and keep me shuffling from other state to the state, and got tired of it never give it to me..Now I found the truth through their gimmick claims shows AI and A means 2 types of benefit you should get I research yes but the employee I talk do not want to give me what that means truth comes out to my research I been cheated for my disability and until now they had not deposited the money to my direct deposit., So from now on folks research your entitlement and you will find the truth.In everything there is always one no matter what they do

  16. I have received phone calls this week and last week, that said there was unknown activity on my bank account and social security. It says to call Microsoft at a weird 818 number. I know about that breach a couple months ago, but this phone call recording was pretty strange. The third of the month is in two days and it’s a bit worrying for me. I, of course didn’t pick up the phone. Are there others getting this kind of to call Microsoft?

  17. I received a postcard from OIG SSA to call
    18884879917 x 12564 to call a special agent. I don’t know what this is about. Is this legitimate?

    • Hi Eleanor, SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. The number appears to be a valid. Please follow the instructions in the letter when contacting us. Thanks!

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