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

Comments

  1. HENRY M.

    My ID may have been stolen, what do I do about it?
    Do you issue a new SS card & number?
    My current # is 098327611

    • Luis A.

      Hi Henry. If you suspect someone is using your Social Security number, you should rerport it to the Federal Trade Commission online or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). For more information on what you should do and if you should file for a new Social Security number, please read our publication titled “Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number.” We hope this helps.

    • Laurie B.

      Henry, did you post your Social Security number? That’s very dangerous. I would recommend editing your comment and removing your SSN, just to be safe. If they don’t issue you a new number then your current number will be floating around the interwebs forever.

  2. Barbara G.

    I have got repeated calls saying my Soc. Sec. Number may have been used repeatedly. They left this number for me to call.(304) 245 6619. Is this a scam ? I have not called the number.

    • Luis A.

      Hi Barbara. 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.

  3. Judy E.

    I recieved a call from 715 935 0559 this call Wisconsin telling me that my ssn has a problem. Could someone tell me if it’s real not real. Thanks for your time. Jcbelder@gmail.com

    • Luis A.

      Hi Judy. 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.

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  5. Ronald G.

    Receiving calls that my SSI card is going to be pulled and cancelling my SSI number.

    • Luis A.

      Hi Ronald. 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.

  6. Joyce H.

    Very helpful information for our Seniors. We need to keep updated on new tactics that scammers are using.
    Thank you!
    Plainfield Senior Center
    Plainfield, CT

  7. essam e.

    thanks for your advice

  8. Norma S.

    I have been called at least 10 times by someone saying they are from Social Security and the have cancelled my payment and I need to call a number to have it reinstated. I just hang up. I know it is a scam. I have been helping a Senior Acting class that puts on performances all over Los Angeles to educate Senors about all kinds of different scams and this is one of them.

  9. Susan C.

    I am constantly receiving telephone calls from individuals claiming to be representing the Social Security Administration, advising me that I am at risk of criminal punishment tied to my social security number. I don’t take the calls, and simply delete the voice messages. I’m sure you are aware of this type of telephone fraud, but just in case you’re not… Similar calls were coming from parties attempting to represent the IRS, and threatening that the taxpayer would be arrested, etc.

  10. BLBall

    I just received a robocall and a robo voicemail claiming to be social security administration. The claim was that my social security number has been suspended and I should call this 800 number

Comments are closed.