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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273 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns Public About SSA Impersonation Schemes

  1. I was called from 1-520-432-0426 around 10:00 A.M. telling me that my SS number was being used in Texas. Being concerned I followed direction giving my last four digits name and address. Didn’t occur to me until afterwards that it was a scam call. Is there anything I need to do to stop them from stealing my identity ?

  2. I just got 1 of these calls this morning 10/4/2019 at 9am sounded fishy as the person had heavy accent also very noisy back ground and strange number I seen enough of these articles on news and the SSA that warned me about this so did not give out a thing about me.anyway I checked the phone number via reverse look up as much as I could and this is the phone number 1-516-399-3063 its from Manhattan.NYC the carrier is infotelcom LLC

  3. I’m Constantly being Called by phone number 415 659 9971 addressing me by name, and telling me that I’m under investigation for S.S. Fraud. First Off, I don’t Receive SS. Second, they are asking for my Last 4 of # SS No. For Verification purposes. And other ID. Info to verify me, In which I do not Give. I simply ask them to write me a letter. Get them off the streets. Please.

    • Hi Robin. 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. On Nov. 20, 2019, I received 3 separate phone calls – all w/this message:”This is Soc. Sec & your number is being used by someone in southern Texas. To speak to an officer call 832-699-0140,” I just hung up the phone & did not respond to either call. I did not know where to report this, so here it is. Thank you.

    • Hi Doris. 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.

  5. Received phone call Dec3,2019.Was told diligent activity using my. SS# and that I could be arrested or it could go to State court house.I did not answer the phone but a message was left.The call was from Texas.phone # used was1 469-638-9527. I was recently widowed and this is frightening.

    • Hi, Dorothy. 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.

  6. I have received several calls concerning my Social Security … the last was from Oakland, Ca 510-503-4297 officer Bella Gonzales # SP205879 there have been others from other states

    • Thanks for letting us know, Patricia. 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.

  7. Dear sir/madam:

    Good morning and Happy Holidays to you all!!

    We received yesterday (12/11/2019) 2 letters (addressed to my wife) saying to call an 800 number by 12/11/2019 so that the Federal Tax Authority will not garnish our wages, seize our property and bank accounts, offset our refund and create a property lien.

    Please advise if we should respond to this letter.

    Thank you.

    • Hi, Efren. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  8. I was contacted by a SSA Scamer on 13 Jan. His number was 1-855-231-1766. He said he was officer John Clinker, FX30196. He said my SSN was being used illegally and asked me to say my SSN and DOB. I screwed up and gave it to him. When I said I was going to my SS Office in the morning, he hung up. I am trying to have my credit bureau accounts frozen, but have only been able to reach one of three. I reported this to police and my local SS office in Culpeper, VA.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Robert. 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.

  9. I received three such calls in the past week. When I called my local Social Security office for something else, the recording said to contact the Attorney General. Where do I report this?

  10. I get phone calls almost everyday, sometimes even multiple time in one day saying they are from SS and that there is a warrant out for my arrest for fraud and their is a police officer waiting to left and come get me if I do not answer their questions. I am getting to the point that I don’t answer my phone unless it is a number with a name of someone I know. Sometimes I answer one or two questions, not to their liking and am called names or one even said they would call back and I will answer them, do you understand. That makes me a little frightened. How can I get them to stop calling? I am already on the do not call.gov list. They are always switching numbers that they call from.

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