Fraud

Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Impersonation Schemes

July 16, 2018 • By

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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About the Author

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

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  1. Michael Maracchini

    I have received two calls claiming my social security number has been suspended and/or compromised. I would like to report this action. The number on my call ID for both calls is: 800-269-0271. When I call that number, they hang up.

    Reply
  2. Jenna hoffman

    I just received a call from someone saying that my number was part of criminal activities. They said they knew I was innocent but they could only protect me if they shut down my bank accounts. At that point I hung up but this is very scary for those who aren’t informed. I should have hung up earlier but this can scare many individuals who trust others in a world where we may need to be more suspicious.

    Reply
    • Jenna Y., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Jenna. Thanks for checking in with us. 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. Thanks, again.

      Reply
  3. Regina Gliem

    We did receive a questionable phone call but they never said which person’s social security no. was suspended. The call said they were from social security dept. and the reason for the phone call was because “we just suspended your social security number so if you want to know about this please press one” . This is the phone number that came up on the phone. 844-490-5187.
    Hope this is helpful.

    I’m assuming if it wqs valid they would address the person in a different way, right?

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Regina. Thanks for checking in with us. 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.

      Reply
  4. Ann Cotoia

    Hello,

    This phone number appeared on my caller id
    at 12:51p.m. today, Tuesday, August 20th.

    It said Social Security 877-850-7829

    I called the Stamford CT Office and Ms. Potts believed
    it to be fraudulent. She was very nice.

    They did not leave a message.

    I was a victim of a phone call scam year in August and reported it then to you also.

    Thank you,

    Reply
    • Luis A., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Ann. 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.

      Reply
  5. Deborah S. Valentine

    I received a cellphone voicemail message today from (617) 286-6693 saying, “This is Leanna call you from the head office of Social Security Administration. Your social security number has been suspended, please contact a General Audit Paralegal officer at 617-286-6693 immediately, thank you.” I think this is fraudulent.

    Reply
    • Luis A., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Deborah. 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.

      Reply
  6. Patricia Bellin

    I received 2 calls from 1-559-415-8602 with recorded statements that my Social Security has been compromised.
    I believe this is a scam and want to report it.

    Reply
    • Luis A., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Patricia. 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.

      Reply
  7. PETER ANTHONY DANDASAN

    please help me I am a offshore worker I have a check of United States Treasury but already expired last December 2014 how do claim it back? Im contract worker Filipino Citezen..I have US Visa RB1.It is possible that I Claim my Tax Refund?

    Reply
    • Luis A., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Peter. We do not have information about United States Treasury-related questions. Please contact your local Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) for information. You can find the FBU contact information here. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  8. Jeff Johnson

    Today 20 Sept 2019 I received a message left on my answering service. Man said they were from social security, had fraudulant claims on me, would hold my money, if I ignored this something about magistrate. They left a phone number to call. 434-658-2307. Please check out.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Jeff. 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 site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  9. Pete M

    I received a phone call from 1-888-059-937, with a recorded message that my SSAN was noticed to have illegal activity, please press 1 to speak to an agent.
    I have blocked that number, and I wish to report it. I tried using the OIG form but found it difficult to use. So I’m bringing it up here.

    Reply
    • Luis A., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Pete. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying 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 site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  10. Pete M

    Received a call from 1-888-059-9337 and shortly after that from Kansas 1-785-373-3061. The recorded message was the same “The reason you have received a phone call from our department is we have suspended your social security number because we have found some suspicious activity to learn more press one,

    Reply

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