Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Impersonation Schemes

elderly woman on cell phoneThe Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is warning citizens about ongoing Social Security Administration (SSA) impersonation schemes.  SSA and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have recently received several reports of suspicious phone calls claiming to be from SSA.

In one case, an automated recording states the person’s Social Security number (SSN) “has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity,” and the person should contact a provided phone number immediately to resolve the issue.  The call concludes by stating if the person does not contact the provided phone number, the person’s assets will be frozen until the alleged issue is resolved.  In another case, a caller claims to be from “SSA headquarters” and waits for the person to provide personal information, such as an SSN, address, and date of birth.  In January, the OIG shared similar information from the Federal Trade Commission, which reported an increase in reports of suspicious phone calls from people claiming to be SSA employees.

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 should 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.  “Be aware of suspicious calls from unknown sources, and when in doubt, contact the official entity to verify the legitimacy of the call,” 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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270 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Impersonation Schemes

  1. Call from 972 842 0521 stating they were an inspector and issuing a warrant for my arrest. Gave me his supposed badge number I said I didn’t think he was in America he said he was going to have federal Marshall’s at my house in 30 minutes

  2. On January 29, 2020, I received two telephone robo calls from a voice stating that he was from the Social Security Department. The caller stated that suspicious activity had been detected in respect of my social security number. In order to discuss the issue, I was asked to press a number on the telephone. Instead, I hung up. It is my understanding that the Social Security Administration does not make contact regarding problems using the telephone. If I am mistaken, please let me know.

  3. Hi. My name is April Marie Mills. I received 2 phone calls that scared me to death. I am mildly mentally handicapped and they told me that I was going to lose my check and go to jail for 20 years for money laundering and other charges. My mom came in and told me it was a scam. The phone numbers are as follows:
    706-792-2655 from Georgia and 405-862-0999. Just help me please.
    The last number is fr Oklahoma. My email is millsapril315@gmail.com.

    • Hi, April. 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.

  4. Just recently I received a call from some who claimed to be from Social Security saying they were having problems sending my payment to my mailing address, and wanted to know where I was. I’m concerned that that same individual will take my checque, and I’m deeply concerned. I’m on SSI, and I don’t want to lose this stimulus checque, what should I do?

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