Frauds & Scams, Social Security Number and Card

Slam the Scam: How to Spot Government Imposters

March 9, 2022 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: March 9, 2022

senior couple checking laptopDo you know how to spot a government imposter scam?

That’s the question we’re asking as part of our annual Slam the Scam Day on Thursday, March 10, 2022. Scammers continue to evolve and find new ways to steal your money and personal information. On Slam the Scam Day and throughout the year, we raise awareness about Social Security-related scams and other government imposter scams. We want you to know how you and your loved ones can avoid becoming victims!

There are common elements to many of these scams. Scammers often exploit fears, threatening you with arrest or legal action. Scammers also pose as Social Security or other government employees and claim there’s a problem with your Social Security number (SSN) or your benefits. They may even claim your SSN is linked to a crime.

When you identify a potential scammer:

  1. Hang up right away or ignore the message.
  2. Never give personal information or money.
  3. Report the scam immediately to our Office of the Inspector General.

If you owe money to Social Security, we’ll mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights. We only accept payments electronically through Pay.gov, Online Bill Pay, or physically by check or money order through our offices. We will never:

  • Threaten you with arrest or legal action because you don’t agree to pay us money immediately.
  • Promise a benefit increase in exchange for money.
  • Ask you to send us gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, Internet currency, cryptocurrency, or cash through the U.S. mail.

Help protect your loved ones and people in your community this Slam the Scam Day. You can:

  • Educate your friends and family about government imposter scams. Let them know they don’t have to be embarrassed to report if they shared personal financial information or suffered a financial loss. The important thing is to report the scam right away.
  • Share our Scam Alert factsheet and Fraud Prevention and Reporting webpage to educate people on how to protect themselves.

Please help us spread the message to make sure no one else falls victim to these criminals. Together, we can “Slam the Scam!” on March 10 and beyond.


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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Comments

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  1. Jeff R.

    It’s amazing how sophisticated scammers have become in swindling people out of their sensitive information.

    Reply
  2. Adrienne

    I had a scammer call and tell me that my social security was not correct and that I must pay $5000 to fix it. I hung up and blocked the phone number.

    Reply

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