Frauds & Scams

Social Security Informing You About Recent Scams

September 10, 2020 • By

Last Updated: September 10, 2020

The most effective way to defeat scammers is to know how to identify scams. You should just hang up on any call you’re uncertain of and ignore suspicious emails.  Scammers are always finding new ways to steal your money and personal information by exploiting your fears.

One common tactic scammers use is posing as federal agents and other law enforcement. They may claim your Social Security number is linked to a crime. They may even threaten to arrest you if you do not comply with their instructions. Just hang up.

As a reminder, you should continue to remain vigilant of phone calls when someone says there’s a problem with your Social Security number or your benefits. If you owe money to Social Security, we will mail you a letter explaining your rights, payment options, and information about appealing.

There are a few ways you can identify a scam call. If you do business with us, remember that we will never:

  • Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card.
  • Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem.
  • Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If you do not have ongoing business with our agency, it is unlikely we will contact you. If you get a suspicious call claiming to be from Social Security, you should hang up and report it to our Office of the Inspector General.


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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Comments

  1. Jose S.

    Thanks, verte important data. I have received scam calla, dos not answer and reported twice to OIG. It is scary. Good dayj

  2. KRISTIN W.

    You should not take away money from someone who is a receives money for they children that is a agencies of the government like child support the parents receives for the child as their payee. It not fair to do that and not doing what is required for the benefits under the contract written for they family how have military services or family who serviced in the military are not getting they benefits award

    • Jim

      Have your mother or father rewrite this so we can understand what your question is or what point you are trying to make is.

  3. FRANK M.

    WHEN I GET A SCAM / FAKE CALL ABOUT MY S.S., I TELL THE PERSON CALLING, “WAIT A MINUTE WHILE I GO TO THE OTHER ROOM TO GET MY CARD NUMBER”, THEN I LAY THE PHONE DOWN UNTIL I HEAR BUZZING AND OR A DIAL TONE, SOMETIME IT TAKES 6 MINUTES OF PUTTING THEM ON HOLD.

  4. Patricia A.

    I received a call from someone saying they were with Medicare and asked I’d I had received my new card. I said yes and she then asked for me to confirm #, which I have never ever done before and it is so bothersome that I did this. I did call Medicare and they are sending a new IDm

  5. Sandra W.

    I constantly receive calls telling me my ss number was comprised and my benefits were going to be suspended. I just hang up.

  6. lynn H.

    Ice received a letter stating its from Cabinet of Health and Family Services.Inside it states;
    Steps to Receive CARES Act Stimulus Check.
    Have these been sent again?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Lynn, thank you for your question. Please visit the IRS Economic Impact Payments Information Center to answer your questions about eligibility, payment amounts, what to expect, when to expect it and more. If you are unable to find the answer, call the IRS hotline at 1-800-919-9835. Thanks!

  7. Lynne G.

    Most have been calls from a female threatening arrest. Today i got one from a very distinguished male from 469 423 3677…it was a recording bcause the message skipped, I very kindly told him to go have sex with himself and hung up and blocked the nmber

  8. Lorie H.

    These scams are I understand common. Educate yourselves.

  9. Rosetta S.

    Hello. I am on mission assignment out of the country and my SSA account is not accessible. I want to review my account but I am blocked because of my IP address from where I am. What can I do?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Rosetta, thanks for using our blog. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or access your online account. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet.

      Even though you are unable to create a my Social Security account, there are still many online services available to you. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how request a Social Security Statement.

      We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.

  10. S. H.

    We were scammed by an outfit that already knew both our social security numbers, debit and credit card numbers. They had taken well over $1,000 out of our checking account and informed us they were there as a part of social security and Homeland Security to help us recover the funds. They were insistent; they called back immediately if we hung up on them, even left a telephone number to call back when they left a message. It was all fraud; all they wanted was an OK to add their own name to the checking account to bleed it dry.

    • Vonda V.

      Thanks for letting us know, Stan. 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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