COVID-19, Frauds & Scams, General

Social Security and AARP Work to Slam the Scam

June 22, 2020 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: February 21, 2023

AARP is helping SSA and its Office of the Inspector General warn you about scammers using Social Security in coronavirus (COVID-19) scams. AARP has a new webinar available for free (registration required), advising the public that scammers’ tactics continue to evolve, and they are now using coronavirus to try to scare us. Don’t be fooled!

Scammers may contact you by phone, letter, text, or email impersonating government officials to trick you into providing money or personal information. They may tell you Social Security is going to stop your benefits because its offices are closed, or ask you to pay a fee to receive extra benefits due to the pandemic. Scammers may even pose as COVID-19 contact tracers working to stop the spread of the virus and ask for payment or your Social Security Number. Don’t be fooled!

Social Security and other government agencies will never:

  • Call you to request information or payment due to coronavirus or office closures.
  • Threaten to arrest you because of an identity theft problem.
  • Require you to put money into a protected account.
  • Ask you for payment by gift card, wire transfer, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
  • Tell you to make up a story to tell your family or bank employees about why you need gift cards or cash.

Social Security continues to pay benefits during the pandemic. Social Security has closed offices to the public to follow social distancing guidelines, but its employees are still hard at work. If you have questions about how the coronavirus has affected Social Security services, visit its website.

If you receive a suspicious call or communication, do not call the number they give you.  Don’t respond in any way. Ignore the message, never click the link, and hang up the phone without providing any information or even giving your name.  To report a Social Security scam, contact the Office of the Inspector General. Share this information with your loved ones, and help us “slam the scam”!

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About the Author

Tracy Lynge, Communications Director for the Office of the Inspector General

About Tracy Lynge, Communications Director for the Office of the Inspector General


  1. Behaviorsoft

    Thanks for getting me back into the reading again. I really enjoyed the stuff you shared in the form of blogs. Keep writing.

  2. Susan M.

    Someone tried to scam me on Thursday, i have all of the information and need someone to help me .
    My name is Susan Campbell .Address 2932 Oetting Drive , St. Charles MO, 633

    • Vonda V.

      Thanks for letting us know, Susan. 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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