Frauds & Scams

Scams Come In Many Different Forms

August 15, 2019 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: July 16, 2021

" "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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About the Author

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Mai E.

  2. Andrea

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  6. MoscaRossa

    this article make me thinks about wats happens around us

  7. Jhon

    Is the governament watching us?

  8. katrine s.

    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 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
    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.

  9. harison w.

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

  10. Beverly L.

    Call from620-263-3781 saying my card is suspended.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Beverly. 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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