Fraud

New Updates to Our Warning About Social Security Phone Scams

January 8, 2021 • By

A photo of a man using a laptop with a Scam email graphic being displayed on the monitorThe Inspector General for Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is again warning the public about widespread Social Security-related telephone scams. These scams may use sophisticated tactics to deceive them into providing sensitive information or money.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has recently received reports of telephone scammers using real Social Security and OIG officials’ names — many of which are publicly available on our websites or through an online search. Other common tactics to lend legitimacy to scams are citing “badge numbers” of law enforcement officers. Some request that people send email attachments containing personal information about an “investigation,” or text links to click on to “learn more” about a Social Security-related problem.

Inspector General Ennis wants you to know Social Security will never:

  • Suspend your Social Security number because someone else has used it in a crime.
  • Threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or fee.
  • Require payment by retail gift card, wire transfer, internet currency, or mailing cash.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Send official letters or reports containing your personal information via email.

“Don’t believe anyone who calls you unsolicited from a government agency and threatens you — just hang up,” Inspector General Ennis said. “They may use real names or badge numbers to sound more official, but they are not. We will keep updating you as scam tactics evolve — because public awareness is the best weapon we have against them.”

If you owe money to Social Security, we will mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights. If you receive a letter, text, call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about an alleged problem with your Social Security number, account, or payments, hang up or do not respond.

We encourage you to report Social Security scams — or other Social Security fraud — via the OIG website. You may also read all previous Social Security OIG fraud advisories on our website.  Please share this information with your friends and family to help spread awareness about Social Security scams.


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About the Author

Tracy Lynge, Communications Director for the Office of the Inspector General

Tracy Lynge, Communications Director for the Office of the Inspector General

About Tracy Lynge, Communications Director for the Office of the Inspector General

Comments

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  1. Jenny

    Thank You!

    Reply
    • smithmoore185@gmail.com

      Yeah

      Reply
    • Venessa Ranae PhD/MD

      My name is Venessa Brewton and I would like to set an appointment with you regarding my financial recoupment and unwarranted contact’s harassing me because I am still being victimized by ID theft’s. I’ve had so much theft’s that left me with $0 for almost 3 year’s now and I have been stolen of my children and the ability to be self sufficient. As a cancer patient I’m completely exhausted and could really use the help!
      Venessa Brewton

      Reply
  2. Richard Schwartz

    I just received a call from someone claiming that my SS No. has been used in a crime. They directed me to this webpage and called me using the 410 number supplied above. I still do not believe them. Please advise.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thanks for letting us know, Richard. 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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  4. Kathleene Hartford

    I received a call today that social security put a hold on my social security number. And that it was used in crimes. They sounded so believable.

    Reply
    • Sue

      Thanks for letting us know, Kathleene. 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. When 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
  5. Tina litchfield

    I feel I was scammed because I should of be eligible for my dad’s SSI I was under 22 on SSD he said I made 8000dollars that year2001 so this is bull

    Reply
    • Sue

      Hi, Tina, and thank you for using our blog. If you disagree with a decision we’ve made, you can file an appeal. There are four levels in the appeals process, and a reconsideration is the first level. You can file your appeal online. For your security, we do not have access to information about your application for Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits in this forum. We ask members of our Blog community to continue to work with their local office for answers to specific questions. Please use our Office Locator to find the phone number. You’ll find more information about benefits for adults disabled before age 22 here. We hope this is helpful.

      Reply
  6. Sharon R. Nelson

    I recently moved. How do I get an address change to you?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Sharon, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to change your address. We hope this is helpful!

      Reply
  7. bogdan

    please stay alert,ostrzegajcie na biezaco.
    we must be very careful,musimy bardzo uwazac.

    Reply
  8. Larry Gasner

    Its a good possibility that my social security number has been compromised by phone scammers. Is there anything I can do before something happens.

    Reply

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