Scams Come In Many Different Forms

" "Social Security is at the forefront of keeping your online data secure, but you play a vital role in safeguarding your personal information too.

Scammers commonly target people who are looking for Social Security program and benefit information. You might receive an advertisement in the mail, but it could be from a private company or even a scammer. U.S. law prohibits people and businesses from using words or emblems that mislead others. Their advertising can’t lead people to believe that they represent, are somehow affiliated with, or endorsed or approved by Social Security or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Medicare).

If you receive misleading information about Social Security, send the complete advertisement, including the envelope it came in, to:

Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline
Social Security Administration
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235

Scams can also happen online. A growing tactic for scammers is to use online dating sites. According to the United States Postal Inspection Service’s recent messaging, before starting an internet-based relationship, we should always keep our personal details to ourselves until you meet face-to-face. Next, do an internet search of the other person’s name and the town they claim to be living in.

Here are indications that someone may not be who they say they are:

  • A mismatch between their name and the name embedded in their email address.
  • There are obvious spelling and grammar errors.
  • They asked if you would send or receive money/packages on someone else’s behalf.
  • They need money right away due to a medical emergency, or they need a visa or air tickets. Or, a business opportunity arose that was too good to turn down. Can you wire a loan?

If anyone asks for your Social Security number, never give it to them. And if they are specifically pretending to be from Social Security, please report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online.

Protecting your information is an important part of Social Security’s mission. You work hard and make a conscious effort to save and plan for retirement. For more information, please visit the Office of the Inspector General’s website.

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413 thoughts on “Scams Come In Many Different Forms

  1. I have been receiving robocalls in recent weeks, stating my Social Security account has been ‘frozen’ for various reasons. It is obviously a scam, but everyone should be advised to ignore those types of calls. Perhaps a PR campaign is needed.

    • I just received a call saying my SS number will be cancelled because it was being used all over the country for suspicious activities. It was a robot sounding voice. It said I had to call back before it is permanently cancelled. Is this a legit call or is it a scam?

      • Hi Julie. 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.

        • Same here. I keep getting calls. Voicemail says ssn is getting canceled. Ex. Voicemail from 8880492543. “ your social security number with immediate effect due to __ all your social benefits will be canceled until further clearance in case you feel this is due to an error you may connect with ___ social security administration in order to connect with a social security administration officer press one now in case we did not hear from you your social will be blocked permanently to connect with the officer now press one ____ “ and it continues on.

          • I have been getting 3 calls per day in the last 3 days saying my SS # is involved in a legal activities and all that and left a number for me to call. It is not a 1-800 number. Obvious bogus call but sound quite real. # they call from: 1-800-861-9657, 1-800-886-4945, 1-833-772-6777,

          • Happened to me today, they left voice mail claiming criminal use of my SSN. Caller ID read “Scam Likely.” Thankful I checked it out, it scared me.

        • Just got the voicemail that my ss# will be deactivated because of some fraudulent transactions in Texas. The phone number came from 202-299-0002.

          • I received the same call and I called back and it felt weird so I told them I did not feel comfortable giving out information over the phone and was told ” why did I called back wasting their time” so I hang up The number was 917-920-2516

          • I received a similar call today – when I pressed 1 the call hung up. From the 864 area code and a 404 exchange. The total phone number was not retained by my cell phone.

          • I got one of this calls from Texas saying my there was some fraudulent actions and I needed to call them back at a 201 area code. I figured it was a scam so I never called back. I hope people go to the SS website or call social security instead.

        • I just got a call from 1-844-316-6956 saying there was “suspicious activity” using my social security number and asked that I call back the above 844 number. Definitely not doing it.

        • Social security staff and administration and headquarters
          I noticed how the local offices are closed due to the corona virus out-break
          I wrote this message in the website kalsada in hopes you get it at social security offices in tx and all other states and in the social security headquarters and administration office
          I need social security staff to make sure to deposit in my wells fargo account my social security checks I should normally get every month (two checks)
          I would like to send this note as a nice gesture as a reminder that I have a direct deposit at wells fargo bank I mostly use the bank near acc college and near or by airport road near the old highland mall in Austin tx
          Do not forget please to send my checks for april 2020
          Also check if you can at your headquarters if it is near by the office of medicare and Medicaid office ask them to help me because my care is not good and I need medical care I have blood problems and am bleeding and have bowl problems and other I am concerned and I am in pain also it really seems to hurt and I would like to move and get a medical doctor that would help me I do not feel like I get good care in Austin tx or tx and I need medical help so far Austin and tx has not been a lot of help to take care of my medical situation yet
          Again please do not forget to send my april 2020 checks to my bank account
          Thanks
          Signed Katrine(Kathrine) Elizabeth sackett 32463 whitelady (5’3)(5’2 ½)
          3030
          Spring terrace apts 214 7101 n ih 35 austin texas 78752
          March 19 2020 time 9 A.M.

      • I have actually worked with an active group to help stop these and other scam calls. What we have done and works a lot is posting messages on social media with the phone numbers to warn people of the scam. We also use google voice (a free service) to call back the numbers that are scamming people. When we get 4 to 5 hundred people calling the numbers we are holding there line up and preventing them from calling out and after a few hours the numbers become “out of service”. I wish more could be done but for now we are doing are best. Ps: I don’t work for any part of the government but have worked in cyber security in the past.

    • Same here. I keep getting calls. Voicemail says ssn is getting canceled. Ex. Voicemail from 8880492543. “ your social security number with immediate effect due to __ all your social benefits will be canceled until further clearance in case you feel this is due to an error you may connect with ___ social security administration in order to connect with a social security administration officer press one now in case we did not hear from you your social will be blocked permanently to connect with the officer now press one ____ “ and it continues on.

      • I received 3 Robocalls yesterday from 3 different numbers 844-390-2205, 866-198-4996 and 855-235-6274. Each one after the first was more threatening saying there was now a warrant out for my arrest. I knew it was as scam because I had just read an article on the yahoo news feed about it. I wish people would find something else to do with their time.

        • I recieved 4 yesterday and all 4 numbers were different and they were the numbers you show.I did not listen to what they had to say after that, cause you are excepting their call and who knows what will happen after that .

    • I’ve received three calls telling me my SS number is being used in several places in Texas. Being the recipient of multiple robo calls for many months now, I simply hung up as I’ve done with other robo calls. Once they get your number, you’re in for the long haul unless you change your phone number — which I have done — 5 times now……they still get the number.

      • Hi Mrs. Geraldine. 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.

    • I just received a call from ‭+1 (817) 984-9312‬ with a similar message. The ID was Ft Worth TX. I get crazy calls very often, some from #s meant to appear local.

    • Scammers are still calling, using number 800-292-3492. They claim they are from SSA and I need to talk with them about suspension of SSA account due to suspicious activity.

      • Yo, Doug.. There still are places in the world where you can avoid taxes and medicare. Instead, they take your money, goods, and younger women in the family at the point of a passel of guns. You might want to check out some of those places and move to one of them.

    • I got one to out of San Antonio Texas and get this they left me a voice mail on my cell phone.Heres the no. to be on the look out for 210 399 4459 .

    • Had about 3 calls in past few weeks about legal complaints against my SS numbers and if I don’t contact them to take legal action immediately, I could face garnished wages, etc……. i just hang up. They are all robocalls. How is this legal?

    • just got a new one today 29th October 2019. This is what the message said; ”
      Just to inform you that the Department of Social Security Administration and the reason you have received a phone call from our department is to inform you that there is illegal and Forstmann action filed on your social security number for fragile and activities so when you get this phone call kindly call back to us at the earliest possible before we begin with the legal proceedings on our number that is 912-721-7693 I repeat 912-721-7693″. I looked up the number on google and they have a new number please block!
      http://nomorobo.com/lookup/912-721-7693
      I called back several times and each person identified themselves as an “agent” even though they were not.

    • I have just received several calls in the last 24 hours, many with the 855 area code. One in particular stating today that my SS# was cancelled due to suspicious activity. The # was 1-855-748-8510. Gotta love them scammers! I get inundated with up to 15 calls a day now with strange area codes, I just don’t even answer my phone anymore, now I guess they record your voice too, so I hear…..

  2. Thanks for the information, I’ve been having thoses problems of some one pretend to be social security workers wanting my social security number. Just scammers trying to take my benefits away from me!

    • Yrs, we have also, telling g us our number has been frozen and if we don’t contact them a warrant will be issued for our arrest! What a scam!

  3. I’ve received three calls this week telling me that I will be losing my disability because they have detected fraud in my name. Online I was told that if I experience fraud I could call the inspector general‘s office and report it. What I got after several button presses and calling back to redo my button presses was a recording telling me that if I got a call that I thought was probably a scam I should just ignore it. Thanks. So helpful. I knew it was a scam. I was reporting them and had three different phone numbers to give so that maybe somebody could investigate. What a surprise, nobody is going to investigate. I would hope that the majority of the population knows that Social Security never calls anyone. You can’t get through to them when you try to call let alone any of them making a phone call out.

    • I am frustrated for the same reason. The information I read, said to call to report fraudulent calls, and I got the same run around. If they just want us to ignore the call, why don’t they just say that, instead of giving us information that indicates we should call to report it.

    • SSA Claims Specialist might call you if you had filed a Claim online. They may have questions, regarding your online application. FYI

    • I had the same issue. Several different articles and blog posts on this website direct those of us who have received scam calls to call the Inspector General or report it online, but those only accept reports of fraud (someone inappropriately receiving SS benefits), not reports of scam calls. I filed my situation with the Federal Trade Commission. I just googled “report government scam call” and clicked on the first option that looked legitimate (ironically).

  4. My husband and I receive almost daily SS scam cell phone calls. We don’t answer and the voicemail message gives us the SS scam information. They just don’t give up!!!

  5. Have been receiving 5-8 phone calls a day during the week of 08/011/2019 from various phone numbers. Each is a recording stating my social Security benefits have been suspended and press 1 for more information.

    • Linda, I received a call today which I did not answer, but the caller left a message using the same wordage. I knew it was a scam, and thought I should report it to SSA, but according to comments I’ve seen posted, it’s a waste of time. This should be investigated because many seniors might be vulnerable and probably give the scammer their SSN and even more info.

    • Same thing happened to me. The calls lasted about a week, maybe because I answered the first one, but I knew better than to “press 1” for more information as this has been all over the news. Eventually, they gave up. Robo voice had said my SSA acct had been disabled due to fraudulent activity, and I’m not even old enough for SS yet.

      • Hi Shirley. 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.

        • Luis – the SSA scam onlin email link provided is incorrect (missing the ‘:’ after ‘https’, to learn more about the SSA scam calls see this link:
          https://identitytheft.gov/SSA. I work for a regional AAA and handle elder abuse funding contracts with 70 WI counties. I find SSA alerts extremely valuable and share them on our state APS listserv (which I moderate).

  6. This Article does not mention telecon requesting you to call because of SS inquiries on a piece of personal social security information. Plus, when I tried to contact SS Inspector General on line it was very difficult! Why?

  7. How amazing I just went to a SSI advocate and he told me my Social Security benefits were all wrong . Someone did the Medicaid assesment wrong He spent the whole morning clearing it up. I am relieved I qualify for many needed dental and medical needs . I can assess them next month

  8. 8/2019
    Dear SSA Commissioner:
    The SSA direct deposited money to my Chase bank account was hacked and stolen repeatedly from my account over 6 years using my bank cards. This person doing it was identified as Kenneth T. Morelli, but nothing was done to charge him, nor restore ALL the money he stole, and I had to take the fall for the great losses of unearned income, making me unable to pay my monthly bills. This situation was a terrible burden to me. The county court gave me many Orders of Protection, all being violated by Mr. Morelli. I am disabled since 2003 and retired in 12/2018 now, paying all my bills with $920/month, and buying food by SNAP $194/mo. Can you call me: 914-428-9603 to advise me?
    How can I recover this money lost? Do you have any suggestions that can be effective for me to reverse this great 6 year $$ loss?

    Sincerely,

    Karen Morra Mesh
    P.O. Box 8130
    White Plains, NY 10602

  9. With so many hacking and crazy eviction in nyc where lawyer uses the court system to get a hold of your ss # and who knows what or where it gets. It would be nice if ss # is not allow to use as reference and be use anywhere other than for ss office use it has been out of hands the past over 30+ years. Like medicare ss must change all ss # to all sa cardholder. We need special protection

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