Frauds & Scams

Social Security and Scam Awareness

November 16, 2023 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: November 16, 2023

Social Security and Scam AwarenessSocial Security imposter scams continue to be widespread across the United States. Scammers use targeted, sophisticated tactics to deceive you into providing sensitive information or money.

If you receive a suspicious letter, text, email, or call, do not respond. We want you to know how to identify a scammer and avoid becoming a victim.

We will NEVER:

  • Text or email images of an employee’s official government identification.
  • Suspend your Social Security number.
  • Threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or fee.
  • Require payment by retail gift card, wire transfer, internet currency, or cash by mail.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Mail or email “official” letters or reports containing your personal information.

We only send text messages if you have opted in to receive texts from us and only in limited situations, including the following:

  • When you have subscribed to receive updates and notifications by text.
  • As part of our enhanced security when accessing your personal my Social Security account.

If you owe money to us, we will mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights.

We encourage you to report suspected Social Security imposter scams — and other Social Security fraud — to the OIG’s website. You can find more information about scams on our webpage Protect Yourself from Scams. Please share this information with your friends, family, and colleagues to help spread awareness about Social Security imposter scams.

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About the Author

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

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


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  1. Cliffd

    ‘news’ “we” can use; keep it coming…

  2. Woodrow B.

    Good info

  3. WD

    There is a loophole allowing online fraudsters access that you MUST close. My online SS account was broken into in September. After two visits to my local office, my SS account was locked; a flag was put on my account requiring any changes to first require personal approval through a phone call.
    Now, I just received a letter from SS stating my recent request for sending my benefit to a new institution was approved! Of course I made no such request.
    My local office changed it back, but said the change should not have been possible; but was made online and apparently escaped the flags.
    Whatever this loophole is (allowing a simple online request to a locked and flagged account) IT MUST BE CLOSED!

    • Sue

      Hi, WD. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you don’t want to do business with us online, consider adding an eServices block to your account to prevent anyone – including you – from seeing or changing your personal information. You can also add a Direct Deposit Fraud Prevention block. This prevents anyone from enrolling in direct deposit or changing your address or direct deposit information through your my Social Security account. To add the blocks and to make any changes in the future, call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.

      If you’ve already blocked access to your record, you may wish to cancel or delete your my Social Security account. If you created the account before 9/18/2021, please contact your local office to cancel your existing account. If you created your account through one of our Credential Service Providers (CSP) – or – you’ll need to delete your account with the CSP.

      For your security, we don’t have access to private information in this venue. If you have additional concerns, please continue to work with your local office.

      If you suspect someone is using your Social Security number, you can report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). We hope this is helpful.

  4. carolyn r.

    recently received e-mail on what appears to be your letter head, back ground of what appears to be your seal, signed by “ken paxton”attorney general of Texas, “suspension of SNN due to criminal activities in Texas”
    very very authentic appearing. went to local ss office – they did not even want to talk to me??? am not ignorant to frauds but this one is scary???

    • Sue

      Hi, Carolyn. Thank you for reading our blog and for your comment. Criminals use phone and email scams to mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid problems with Social Security. Our employees will never threaten to arrest you or to suspend your Social Security number in exchange for money or personal information. Generally, we will only contact you if you have ongoing business with us. And, we will only send you emails and text messages if you have agreed to receive them and only in limited situations. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  5. Jayabal

    It’s important for individuals to be aware of potential scams related to Social Security. Scammers may try to obtain personal information, such as Social Security numbers, to commit identity theft or other fraudulent activities.

    Some common Social Security scams include phone calls claiming there is a problem with your account and requesting personal information, emails or texts requesting personal information or payment for supposed benefits, and fake websites that appear to be official Social Security sites.


  6. eMarketEdu

    This blog article has good content and is informative, Loved it genuinely. It’s an incredible post on Social Security And Scam Awareness. Looking forward to more such blogs.

  7. Amanda

    This world is turning into a minefield of scammers, hackers and others looking to take advantage of people. Remain vigilant!! The good guys are working hard to get these people.

    • Hendri G.

      Nancy Williams at Guardian and Associate sent my $650. O0 out my $914.00 VA Federal Disability Check in May 2023, $500.00 out of my $914.00 VA Federal Disability Check in June 2023 before Judge Lawrence Paolucci made his Fraudulent Guardianship incapacitated decision on June 13,2023. Then My VA Federal Disability Checks was suspended because of a unknown address given by Guardian and Associate a P.O Box. I have not gotten a July, August, September, October, November check.

      • Ann C.

        Hi, Hendri. We are sorry to hear about your situation. You may wish to contact the Veterans’ Administration to discuss your concerns. We hope this is resolved soon. 

  8. P C.

    I recently had to receive a paper check, for the 1st time in over 5 years, as I was in between changing banks, and it was Stolen And cashed, before it arrived at my home, ON MY 60TH BIRTHDAY, a week ago.

    I have no money, I need my prescriptions picked up, I had to go to the ER 2 days ago and couldn’t pay my co-pay, I need food, toilet paper and my Bills??? I haven’t paid my rent and my phone and internet will be suspended on Saturday.

    It takes 10 for another check. I didn’t know until Tuesday because I was patiently waiting since the 8th, when it was due to arrive in the mail and was instead, again, STOLEN AND CASHED ON MY 60TH BIRTHDAY!

    I have a new direct express card coming, expedited, because I made several calls to SS and Direct Express, and I can only pray to GOD that the check is instead converted to the direct express card, that I’ve been promised will arrive tomorrow or Monday.

    Otherwise, how do I survive on $5.17 until November 28th?????

    I filed a fraud claim so SS can trace where and who.

    I am trying to stay calm. This has never happened to me.

    No more paper checks. The world has gone cruel, ultra Greedy and just sad!

    • Amanda

      I’m so sorry this happened. Thieves will steal anything that isn’t nailed down today.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, P C. We are sorry to hear about your situation. We encourage you to continue working with your local Social Security office. We hope this is resolved soon. 

  9. Robert G.

    I found your information to be vary enlightening and easy to understand. It’s hard to believe the degree of fraud that exists in the world we all live in today.

  10. G. C.

    I found your use of a photograph of a young male of color for this scam alert to be reprehensible. While young males of color might be representative of scammers, I believe that’s all the more reason to portray a scammer type with some other kind of visual representation.

    • Willem

      I thought that was an Air Force haircut, and maybe he was the one getting scammed?

    • Amanda

      He’s not the scammmer. He’s being scammed. Although he does appear to be young, social security is not just for people over 60. There is SSI and SSDI. But, I can see how you can draw that conclusion. It’s just a stock photo. He probably should have bee a bit older.

    • Charles

      Peope are Black and white and Asian. Quit looking for trouble, please.


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