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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421 thoughts on “Scams Come In Many Different Forms

  1. I have been receiving daily calls from 1(866) 945-2809 stating that it is Law Enforcement and that suspicious activity has been found associated with my card. I called back and somebody answered the phone saying it was the social security office. When they asked for my name, I told them that if there’s a problem with my social security to please send the info by mail. They immediately hung up, didn’t even let me finish talking.

    • Hi Carmen. 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.

  2. A gentleman called me from phone number 315-325-8516 which is in Geneva,NY. He stated on the phone that he is a SSA investigator and that there is a lawsuit against me and that my SS number has been suspended and he needed to verify my phone number, name, and SS number to which I responded if he works for SSA then he has my SS number and I refused to give any information he then abruptly hung up when I asked his name and for his SSA curdentuals so I could call the SSA and verify that there was a problem. Please investigate this and prosecute this act of impersonation .
    Thanks

    • Hi Kenneth. 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.

  3. I just received the same kind of call- told me to call back immediately. My call was a robot call stating I had action being taken against my ss#.
    The number it left was 346-347-7601. It was also a texas prefix that was called from.
    Scammers need a new hobby…just saying

    • Hi Kimbriel. 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. 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 and 1-800-957-0445
    When the say “SOCIAL SECURITY how may I help you. Simply say you called me…
    They seem to get frustrated and hang out.

    • Hi Michael. 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 7 calls from “ssa”regarding fraud using my SS#. It came from 5187043321. When he would not provide his name, Employee ID or his SS Employee number, I was informed that unless I provide my SS that he could not give me the info. I refused and the caller advised that my SS# was suspended. I asked them to provide the number they had on record, they provided a number that wasn’t even close. I was then advised that the SS police were at my door to arrest me. I asked for their names and I was told to look for two men in black clothing. (MIB). They advised me to disregard the call and hung up.

    Just want you to know

    Thank you

    • Hi Thomas. 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. just got a call from someone claiming to be from your office about a car rental in Florida that had drugs in the car and also in El Paso Tx. they wanted my last four digits of social and my name. could that be trouble for me from a scammer?

    • Hi Lawrence. 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.

  7. was contacted via phone from # 239 217 8989, threatening that my social security number had been flagged or something for fraud, and that I was going to be prosecuted if I did not select to speak with someone. the call was a robo call it seemed.

    • Hi Mark. 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.

  8. I received a call from number +1 877-405-7679. The voice was recorded, sounded robotic, and it said that my Social Security Account has been suspended due to suspicious activity. If I wanted to hear more, I should press “1”.
    I hung up, assuming it was some kind of scam, but I now worry about my account. I rely on SS as a large part of my income. Who should I call?

    • Hi Gayle. 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.

  9. Recently I have recieved multiple recording stating that fraud activites involving my ss number and i need to call this number. 518-7043319, another number 210-686-7579. I didn’t call the numbers but wanted to report it.

    • Hi Sally. 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.

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