Disability, Frauds & Scams, General Questions, Retirement, Survivors

Social Security Takes Fraud Seriously

June 15, 2015 • By

Last Updated: June 30, 2021

An identity thief holds a Social Security card in front of a keyboardOne out of five Americans receives benefits from Social Security, including elderly retirees, people with severe illnesses, and widows and children of deceased wage earners.

With so many of our country’s most vulnerable citizens depending on us, we take our responsibility of providing them with a measure of financial security seriously.

One way we do that is by making a priority our many efforts to pursue those who would cheat the system and take money away from those who need it most.

The agency’s benefit programs are far-reaching and complex, which means that preventing, detecting, and combatting fraud, waste, and abuse is an ongoing challenge. Although we can’t prevent every instance of fraud any more than law enforcement can prevent all crimes, we aggressively investigate potential instances of fraud and pursue prosecution of those who commit it.

Our Office of Anti-Fraud Programs (OAFP) uses many tools to help predict where fraud may occur so we can identify it as quickly as possible. OAFP works alongside the Office of the Inspector General, and Disability Determination Services in the Cooperative Disability Investigation (CDI) program. CDI units investigate and resolve questions of fraud in our programs. There are stiff penalties: We seek the maximum punishment allowable under the law to restore money stolen from the American people. As a result, fraud affects only a very small percentage of our overall payments.

You can help protect your investment in Social Security. Take time to learn all the facts on how we work to prevent fraud. Remember, if you suspect fraud, report it or call the fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.


Tags: , ,

See Comments

About the Author

Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Betty Davis

    My name is Betty Davis and I have a son named by the name Cameron Taylor green who was adopted and now I have guardianship on my side my biological side but the foster parent sphagnum Moss biological cells Social Security Disability I had Fowler report but nothing has happened now the 76 came out son been with me for four years her he hasn’t received anything and not Social Security is telling him that he’s old them so the whole entire time that my son was staying with me for years she said she wasn’t accepted any benefits from my son but in the long run I found out through Social Security that she was so now she bought her biological son a brand new car no wonder he has nothing to this matter yet I’m still trying to figure out why she still accepting my sons money benefits and she still holding his birth certificate when she put this young man out of her house what can I do who do I need to talk to because no one is doing anything about this matter please give me a call my name is Betty Davis 915 West Oakdale Drive Fort Wayne Indiana 46807 my phone number is area code 260-797-6629 Isaac David my husband his number is area code 260-249-2220 I need to know what steps I need to take to get to sleep is Shane just doing it to my kid she doing all the kids that she is foster parent

  2. Marc Vendrame

    The SSA abandoned me and denied my appeal because I’m apparently “too young (I’m 41).” I have a long, documented history of chronic illness and I have no idea what I’m going to do now. I just want to die in my sleep. Thanks SSA.

  3. Fred Roberts or Frederick T Roberts

    I was really sick for several weeks. When I finally got somewhat better, I noticed thousands of dollars had been taken out of my Social Security account. Yes I signed some of the checks, but I was so sick I really did not know what I was doing. Once I realize how money was missing I could not believe my eyes. What do I do?

  4. Francine B McDermott Chabot

    SSA alleged “overpayment” allegations against an elderly retiree expecting that the retiree would send a check for $5,999. The retiree aged 75, was a former investigator and educator. As such, she immediately requested within five days of receipt of the “overpayment” allegation not only a reconsideration, but a FOIA request to determine on what data they based their allegation. SSA ignored the FOIA requests filed three times (certified mailings); then the retiree learned that the “overpayment” was not the retiree’s doing but the agent within the agency. The question arises as to why an elderly retiree is required to pay for the mistake, error, fraud, or mismanagement of a Social Security agent of the SSA? Also, the retiree has paid money into Social Security-the trust or fiduciary agency in which their benefits/money are held. It begs another question: If an individual fiduciary agent who steals money from an elderly retiree can be arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts, then why not Social Security Administration for ELDERLY FIDUCIARY FRAUD? The, that same retiree wrote multiple requests for meetings, which in turn were rescheduled due to SSA’s noncompliance with FOIA. Any intelligent elderly retiree is not going into the office without evidence. SSA deprived the retiree of that evidence and persisted in demanding payment.l Then the retiree met with a manager of SSA who insisted she file a waiver for repayment of overpayment. The retiree examined the 14-page document and also the welfare application and learned that they were equivalent. Why should SSA demand personal, private, confidential, financial information from an elderly retiree when that retiree is only requesting the funding that they were holding in trust as a fiduciary agent until retirement? Do they have a right to say, “You make too much money!” Then the SSA agency demands without proper notice that she attend a personal conference after sending a letter saying that they disapproved but there is one more person that wants to talk with you. At this point, the retiree submitted a Due Process hearing request for noncompliance with FOIA multiple times; denial of Due Process prior to ceasing her benefit; then subsequently sends a menacing letter denying the “waiver” saying that they will not stop their demand for repayment. SSA’s conduct towards the elderly retiree subject to administrative due process review. Please respond particularly if you say I’ve already said this but never received a response from your office.

    • Tami LaFave

      Wow – this sounds all too familiar to me, however mine was only for 2,700.00 and was an overpayment paid to my son who was 19 and NOT living at home, but they took the overpayment from ME in two months – Resulting in my having to live on NOTHING (no income) for 2 months. I, too filed a waiver request, twice – both were somehow lost after I HAND delivered them. I then was told to fill out a request for reconsideration, I did so right there at the social security office and handed it back right there (I even recorded the conversation as well as videotaped me handing the darn forms to the guy.) – When I called 30 days later there was no record of ever receiving any of what I just mentioned above. How incredibly frustrating – And now that I’ve read YOUR horrific story (which, by the way, I’m very sorry to hear and I certainly hope you get some help in going after them to make everything right, because you DO indeed have rights and this is all a bunch of BS in my opinion!) but I’m a little afraid to push it, because my SSDI is all I have and I’m truly disabled; I cannot make it on my own. Basically they own me and that just plain sucks.

  5. Francine B McDermott Chabot

    SSA alleged “overpayment” allegations against an elderly retiree expecting that the retiree would send a check for $5,999. The retiree aged 75, was a former investigator and educator. As such, she immediately requested within five days of receipt of the “overpayment” allegation not only a reconsideration, but a FOIA request to determine on what data they based their allegation. SSA ignored the FOIA requests filed three times (certified mailings); then the retiree learned that the “overpayment” was not the retiree’s doing but the agent within the agency. The question arises as to why an elderly retiree is required to pay for the mistake, error, fraud, or mismanagement of a Social Security agent of the SSA? Also, the retiree has paid money into Social Security-the trust or fiduciary agency in which their benefits/money are held. It begs another question: If an individual fiduciary agent who steals money from an elderly retiree can be arrested and prosecuted for criminal acts, then why not Social Security Administration for ELDERLY FIDUCIARY FRAUD? The, that same retiree wrote multiple requests for meetings, which in turn were rescheduled due to SSA’s noncompliance with FOIA. Any intelligent elderly retiree is not going into the office without evidence. SSA deprived the retiree of that evidence and persisted in demanding payment.l Then the retiree met with a manager of SSA who insisted she file a waiver for repayment of overpayment. The retiree examined the 14-page document and also the welfare application and learned that they were equivalent. Why should SSA demand personal, private, confidential, financial information from an elderly retiree when that retiree is only requesting the funding that they were holding in trust as a fiduciary agent until retirement? Do they have a right to say, “You make too much money!” Then the SSA agency demands without proper notice that she attend a personal conference after sending a letter saying that they disapproved but there is one more person that wants to talk with you. At this point, the retiree submitted a Due Process hearing request for noncompliance with FOIA multiple times; denial of Due Process prior to ceasing her benefit; then subsequently sends a menacing letter denying the “waiver” saying that they will not stop their demand for repayment. SSA’s conduct towards the elderly retiree, who was forced to obtain a substitute teaching job to off set the loss of her $950 benefit: guarded, defended, in violation of Due Process Rights, bullying, intimidating, and abusive. SSA has 63,500 employees, that said, a percentage of their employees may be , involved in a criminal money making enterprise through the venues of Windfall Elimination Provision and Pension Offset. The elderly retiree is NOT disabled, therefore not asking for any funding that is not what she paid into SSA over the past 40 years. Hence, the demand for personal financial, property, insurance, etc. information may be overintrusive of a quasi-governmental agency and outside the parameters of relevant, lawful, ethical conduct.

  6. Jackson

    I know somebody who is using there abandon house address as my Mother place of residence on her Ssi income, Don’t know WHY? But she has been commuting fraud for years. Like using someone name for snap while they were in prison also years ago, and using her deceased husband credit cards.

  7. Stephen Cahn

    Fraud is not taken seriously. Was reported to the SSA that my special needs brother had his funds card (not sure what it is officially called) stolen from him and that the person was actively using his funds. Was told they investigated and that there was no fraud detected because the proper PIN was used to make purchases and ATM withdraws. The person stole the PIN number too. My brother has been without his funding since September because of the lack of action by the SSA. Don’t tell me that you take fraud seriously!!! If you look at his account, his entire demeanor changed. How does a person debit fast food and convenient stores religiously and then all of a sudden start buying fuel (he doesn’t have a car), going to the drug store, renting Disney +, and shopping at Lowes???? Seems legit to me. NOT

  8. Keith

    How come their are so many EBT card holders cards that get compromised over and over. Its like they have some fraud internally. No other option but a EBT like a personal account. Hmmm

  9. Mary

    I have a friend who collects death benefits for her daughter. The daughter however lives in New Hampshire and she lives in North Carolina. I know she uses the majority of the money to pay her rent. She also uses another benefit to pay her rent based off this child. Who does not live with her. The children in her home benefit from this child’s money while the grandmother takes care of the child. The grandmother doesn’t do anything because she is scared the mother will remove the child from her home. I am wondering if this is fraud.

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Mary. Social Security takes reports of fraud very seriously. If you suspect fraud, you may find our fraud web page useful. Thanks!

    • Demetric Conner

      Sorry to hear that. And I’m Demetric Conner from Uniontown AL. A single father of 4 living with my mother and i receive SSI and I’m living with my mother with 4 in her household me, brother, mother, and her husband. Her receive social security and get money on the 3rd and she receive disability every month too and brother stay here too but work when he want too but don’t have to pay bills .When my brother go to work my mother buy food here to eat but soon he quit he stop buy food here and if she buy it she will hide for her & her husband. My mother talk to me like I’m a kid or an stranger on the street. I’m the oldest out me and my brother he stay here don’t pay bills it not right. My mother wont give me my direct express card. I’m trying to get an apartment to stay to take of my kids cause I’m older to handle my own card and take care of me and my kids. Cause their mother sick with Hiv she caught it from a guy in selma al. that why i trying to get my kids and my own apartment. And their living with their grandmother and she not able to keep them and my kids mother stay with my kids grandmother too and i scared their can catch it from her so i told my mother i want to get my place. For me and my kids but she still over control my direct express card. I want to know can someone help me. I feel uncomfortable and mistreated here with my mother

  10. Janeen Slaughter

    I think my deceased mothers information has been hacked. Can you tell if there is any activity on her ss#?

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Janeen. Generally, identity theft issues are handled by the Federal Trade Commission. You can find more information on their website: http://www.idtheft.gov or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). To learn more about the steps individuals can take to prevent or resolve issues of identity theft, read our publication, Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number. We hope this helps.

Comments are closed.