COVID-19, Frauds & Scams, General

Social Security and AARP Work to Slam the Scam

June 22, 2020 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: March 17, 2021

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 Coronavirus (COVID-19) 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. Raymond M.

    is there a business grant to help my trucking company with funds. because i had o shut down my business in April

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Raymond, thanks for using our blog. For inquiries related to grants due to the pandemic, please contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at or by calling their toll-free number at 1-800-829-1040. Thanks.

  2. Coy H.

    Hi Rudy belcher is on social security he was in jail for raping me plus living with his. Mom lona sink
    He doesn’t need his check for raping me

  3. Evelyn E.

    I received a call about my SSA account. They wanted me to call back because something went wrong with my account. I did not call him back. His number is 210-866-0681. Thank you
    My e

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Evelyn. 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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  6. Keith B.

    What about AMAC helping?

  7. Patricia A.

    What is the best way to report a person is on disability social security that is not disabled??? I live in a small town and would not be identified as the one who has reported this issue

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Patricia, thank you for using our blog. Social Security takes reports of fraud very seriously. If you suspect fraud, please report it here. Thank you.

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