Fraud, Guest Bloggers

National “Slam the Scam” Day

March 5, 2020 • By

Today is National “Slam the Scam” Day! What does that mean?

We created National “Slam the Scam” Day to warn Americans about widespread phone scams where callers impersonate government officials, most often Social Security, to gain your trust and steal your money.  The most effective way to defeat scammers is by knowing how to identify scams, then hanging up or ignoring the calls.

What you can do

If you get a Social Security scam phone call, hang up, report it to my office at https://oig.ssa.gov, and tell your family and friends about it!

Today and every day, we are telling as many people as we can that government agencies will never:

  • Call you unsolicited to suspend your Social Security number, tell you about crimes committed in your name, or offer to resolve identity theft or a benefit problem in exchange for payment.
  • Insist you pay fines, fees, or debts immediately with retail gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
  • Insist on secrecy about a legal problem, or tell you to make up stories to tell family, friends, or store employees.

These scammers continue to develop new ways to mislead you.  They might use the names of Social Security officials and tell you look them up on our public websites (where they learned the names themselves).  Or, they might email you official-looking documents with a letterhead that looks like it’s from Social Security or Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).  Don’t believe them! Social Security will NEVER email you attachments that have your personal information in them.

If you ever owe money to Social Security, the agency will mail you a letter, explaining your payment options and your appeal rights.  If you get a call about a Social Security problem, be very cautious.  If you do not have ongoing business with the agency, or if the caller mentions suspending your Social Security number or makes other threats, the call is a scam. Ignore it, hang up, and report it to us.  We are working to stop the scams and educate people to avoid becoming victims.

Tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern time, I will be on Facebook Live with Social Security and the Federal Trade Commission to talk about National “Slam the Scam” Day and all that we’re doing to fight Social Security phone scams.  Follow Social Security — and the Social Security OIG — on Facebook and Twitter, to stay up-to-date on Social Security scams as well as all of our work to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse in Social Security programs.  Visit https://oig.ssa.gov/scam for more information.

Facebook: OIGSSA

Facebook: Social Security

Twitter: @SocialSecurity

Twitter: @TheSSAOIG

 


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About the Author

Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for Social Security

Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for Social Security

Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for Social Security

Comments

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

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  2. Peggy

    When will fraud be investigated? What does OIG do? Reports of fraud come in, yet nothing is done.
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  7. SANDRA L. PORTILLO

    where would I report fraud call I received in reference to my social security and having a warrant for my arrest

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Sandra. 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.

      Reply
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  9. Chas in Texas

    just want everyone to be aware of scams that can be done by former relatives, to include children from previous marriages who snooped and got a hold of your personal identifiable information.

    They can wreak havoc in your life to include buying cars, co-signing on car loans to name a few. sometimes it comes from those who you least expect. I recommend you do a check on your accounts and put a fraud alert on your credit. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    I recently had a message on my voicemail. “You need to call us right away, your social security is involved in fraud scams and you must call us before we begin court proceedings. The scammers even leave a toll free number to call them back. Do Not Fall For The Scam!

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