Frauds & Scams

Scams Come In Many Different Forms

August 15, 2019 • By

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.

See Comments

About the Author

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. jupiterfuture

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    • Viomagz D.

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  2. Neysa

    800-785-3748 called stated that I have some major changes in my social security account.
    I did not return the call.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Neysa. 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. Thanks, again.

  3. Janet M.

    I received 2 calls on 8/14/19 from these 2 numbers 909-816-8780 and 909-699-8201 stating my benefits are being held due to illegal activities.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Janet. 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. Thanks, again.

      • sackett k.

        k e sackett 14 hours ago · 0 Likes
        Help Needed! Charity Groups! Fund Raiser Groups! Church Groups who do fund raising!
        Charity Groups can you all do a charity fund raiser for money for travel and transportation expenses?We would like to move away from austin and even texas but need help with finances
        Travel cost I am sure would be at least $1200.00 or more and due to being medical sick I probably will need special kind of help and seating arrangments made so it may be more then that even
        I have items also I want to take means extra luggage to take along which means extra cost also DOCTORS—–I need a medical doctor for medical help and I am so far not getting the care I need medically and my medicare/Medicaid card is a joke to me and not real good coverage at all so far my help has not been good the nurses have used out-dated products on me and I do not do well on them products (years back I got sick on psych meds and never got medically my health back yet but I am sure austin state hospital and others had used out-dated products with psych meds also and are not good for medicines they left me medically un-healthy and therefore, I need medical help and cannot so far get it here in austin or texas that is good care My Medicaid and medicare so far gives me poor care (with any area medical or mental)
        I need a doctor with a few years of work experience in medical wards and hospital giving medical care for that type of medical doctor to see me and maybe if you are out here doctors and see this note can you come to texas to help me sense so far I have not received or say been given proper good medical care here in austin or texas yet and my coverage stinks (sense I got sick on those psych meds which I no longer take and have not for years but my medical problems have not stopped I never got medically well again) this is one reason why I want to move to get proper medical care which so far I am not getting here in austin or texas so far I am bleeding and have bowel problems and still bleed even without having a bowl and other problems and cannot get so far the care I need here in austin need I guess to move out of state finally to get proper care from medical doctor then
        This is finally a cry for help! I need medical help from a experienced medical doctor!
        Plus! I am sorry to say about austin and tx and other dps and judges in courts that I have noticed you all are sissi butts/sissi ass’s and are afraid of real criminals out here breaking real crimes and I wrongfully got arrested when homeless and you took me to mental health and allowed me started on a psych med and it caused me to get sick and a medical problem and I have not been given proper medical care yet over it what the legal system/judges and courts and dps/jail staff and sheriff and police has done to me was a sissi ass/sissi butt act and tells me the system including the mental health staff you all use are cowards of the real thing out here and real criminals out here and I ended up with a medical illness for no good reason over the legal systems and mental health systems cowards act
        Also I need a force that protects me from harm also (I do not feel protected by the police force or legal system here in texas here) fact really is I do not feel protected by the police force and legal system in any state actually and could use their help actually
        Military—–I am a family member of a dad and step dad in military previous years and I actually do not feel protected from our own u.s. military or military police force at all sometimes they seem at war with us here as u.s. citizens rather then at war with out of united states countries or out of united states citizins especially here near the border or in austin here
        County and state mental hospitals and mhmr’ are a joke to be laughed at for a crew of staff also no help from them no decent help! Signed Katrine(Kathrine) Elizabeth sackett 32463 whitelady (5’3)(5’2 ½)
        Spring terrace apts 7101 n ih 35 austin texas apt 214
        March 19 2020

  4. Thomas H.

    I have received many phone calls stating there is a problem with my social security number. They have a number to call immediately.

  5. William C.

    Gee! What I write ? But I appreciate your faithful mailing my SS retirement checks very much! I am 81 years old and deaf & speech impairment. I am very graceful. Thank you very much, Social Security. May God bless you !

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for your feedback, William! Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We try hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and your satisfaction is our reward.

  6. Andrew J.

    How do we (my wife & I go about getting new SS cards?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Andrew. First, realize that you may not need a replacement card. You will rarely need to show it. Knowing the Social Security number is what is important. To see if you’re eligible to apply for a replacement Social Security card online or to learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card please visit our Social Security Number and Card page. Keep in mind all submitted documents must be either originals or copies certified by the issuing agency and must (unless otherwise indicated) have been issued within the last two years. We cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents. Once you’ve submitted all the needed documents, it can take up to 10 business days from the date we received the application to mail a replacement card. We hope this helps.

  7. Thomas P.

    I was called on my work phone ,I-Phone, and the person said my social security account was being investigated for a lawsuit by the SS office. I hung up and was going to call them back but their phone number wasn’t left on my phone.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Thomas. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If 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.

  8. Mr. A.

    I am on Social Security for a minor disability there and enjoy how you put the important topics on here on this page about how to help the consumer and a person in real life there. I found such topics to be important there and enjoy how you put them on the page here.

  9. Candy G.

    Periodically, I receive calls from 800 numbers requesting that I call back because there are urgent situations with my Social Security that need to be attended to.
    Thanks for the orientation.

  10. Thomas

    With regard to fraudulent robocalls, I have received them and attempted to notify SSA online about them. I have
    become totally discouraged with the process. One should be able to call SSA and report the phone number and city of origin and have the fraud department of SSA follow up on it …and NOT have to file a gazillion-page report!!!

Comments are closed.