Fraud

Scams Come In Many Different Forms

August 15, 2019 • By

" "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.

See Comments

About the Author

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

  1. Vernon Carter

    I just received a call saying my ssi is being held because of some problems.
    I believe the number is 347-803-1544.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Vernon. 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.

      Reply
  2. Nancy

    I have been getting those same calls saying there has been fraudulent activity on my SS account. They tell me to press 1 to speak to someone but I just hang up. I’ve gotten calls for two days. The # they are calling from is 800-719-1075.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Nancy. 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
  3. Enrique Garcia Jr.

    I have received phone calls from a company in Texas 361-203-0132 informing me that they are investigating my social security information and when I told them that I was not going to give any information they terminated the phone call

    Reply
    • Luis A., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Enrique. 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.

      Reply
    • Luis A., Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Enrique. 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
  4. Debbie Brannan

    I keep getting phone calls threatening me if I don’t get issues straighten out I was going to have a warrent

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Debbie. 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.

      Reply
  5. Lê Minh Huy

    mua thiết bị quang an toàn hơn tại https://mangvienthong.com.vn/

    Reply
  6. Abang Donn

    Thank you I have had many calls.

    Reply
  7. Gajah Mada

    I have been receiving phone calls for about two weeks now. Saying that my social security number is being used and to call them. The one I got today at 11:39 am saying that my social security number has been frozen. The number from today is 1-833-781-8208

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Gajah. 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.

      Reply
  8. Michael Montgomery

    I received a call from 800-557-7290 saying that there was a problem with my number, saying that it was used in drug trafficking and money laundering in Texas and started asking a lot of questions that they had a lot of my personal info on, did this call come from you.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for checking in with us . 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
  9. Merlyn Gaspar

    Is the “Senior Citizens League” Petition legitimate?

    Reply
  10. Frank Stiefel

    On 1-21-2020 about 9:10am received a landline phone call that said problem with my SSN:

    About the only keywords I remember were Texas, South, and Border…
    and to listen “press 1”.

    I said nothing nor pressed anything. Phone went silent quickly after not pressing 1.

    Reply

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