Frauds & Scams

SSA Inspector General: New Tactics for Government Imposters

April 27, 2021 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

A woman using a cellphone Last month, we partnered with our Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the annual National “Slam the Scam” Day to help you learn how to identify and avoid government imposter scams. These scams are widespread across the United States and often involve Social Security number-related issues. Scammers’ tactics continue to evolve.

Most recently, the OIG has received reports of phone scammers creating fake versions of the identification badges most Federal employees use to gain access to Federal buildings. The scammers may text or email photos of the fake badges to convince potential victims of their legitimacy. These badges use government symbols, words, and even names and photos of real people, which are available on government websites or through internet searches.

If you receive a suspicious letter, text, call or email, hang up or do not respond. You should know how to identify when a call is really coming from Social Security. 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 mailing cash.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Send official letters or reports containing your personal information via email.

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’ll mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights.

Inspector General, Gail S. Ennis, encourages you to report Social Security scams or fraud to the OIG’s website. You can watch the video below to learn more. Please share this information with your friends and family to help us “Slam the Scam” every day.


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About the Author

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

Comments

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

  1. Kenneth C.

    SSDI was wrongfully denied to this 100% Service-Connected Disabled Veteran. The VA Colluded with SSA to pay retro-active compensation effectively coincidental to one year beyond my SSDI eligibility date cut-off. See VA C 30-269-323.
    Also read: USA vs Veterans and the First Amendment, David Lindorff published April 2005

    Reply
  2. Katherine B.

    Thanks for the information, I wish I could talk to someone, I really feel like a trick was played on me by the office here in Inglewood Ca. No matter how I try to explain. NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME. Thank you for letting me share.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Katherine, thanks for using our blog. You can speak to a Social Security representative by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  3. Katherine B.

    Thanks for the information, I wish I could talk to someone, I really feel like a trick was played on meby the office here in Inglewood Ca. No matter how I try to explain. NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME. Thank you for letting me share.

    Reply
  4. Luis

    Hello.. In December 2020 a lady called Me and said she was from the local Social Security office and told Me I was approved for Social Security disability.. I’m receiving SSI and she said I would get both benifets and gave Me an estimate of how much I’d be receiving an I would get Medicare in 2 year’s and in 2weeks I would start receiving the money and till this day I haven’t received it or gotten a letter state in anything about that and if I can recalled she asked for My social security number..

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Luis, thanks for using our blog. For an update on your Social Security disability application, please call your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  5. Tammie

    Who do you report when you find out that a person is working for the social security office and committing the fraud and tampering with your records

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Tammie. Thanks for your question. Social Security takes reports of fraud very seriously. To learn what information you need to submit for a fraud report, visit here. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. Greg D.

    I noticed on the form I used to report a scam call that I just had hung up on, that there wasn’t a way to complete it without filling in REQUIRED information (the phone number of the caller). I don’t have caller ID. So I had nothing valid to give; yet I understand in order to have a more active response to shutting down the systems that call, a quick response that someone had called at a given time is of great importance to track down the source of it. So I fudge a fake number and stated that in the section where I could leave a little note. (I’m already subscribed. Gave my email below anyway.)

    Reply
    • Greg D.

      PS: With many having smart phones. It would seem logical that someone could make an App that would let one quickly report a scam call or other such abuse (like a solicitors call to a non-solicitation number). This may help make the use of scam and other such calls (often also faking the callers phone number) much less profitable.

      Reply
      • Katie M.

        I have received many text messages reguarding my unemployment compensation. I am retired and on ssa benefits, I have not collected unemployment since I was 17yrs old. I tried reporting it to the unemployment office as fraud, but no one there can be bothered answering the phone! I have left many messages with my contact number and no one could even call me back. Is it any wonder there are so many scammers out there!

        Reply
        • Nathan G.

          You cant blame SSA for scammers. They’re very busy and if you look at some of the complaints here no wonder its automated. Otherwise they would spend 24 hours a day answering stupid questions. Have a great day.

          Reply
      • Ann C.

        Hi, Greg. Thanks for your feedback. You can submit your suggestion by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

        Reply
        • John I.

          What do you do if the person who is harassing you is an employee of social security

          Reply
          • Vonda

            We are sorry to hear about your experience, John. You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

    • Michelle R.

      My name is Michelle Rice. My disability was cut off without any notice! Someone name Mr. Phillips contacted me. Then next thing I know my disability was terminated! Also I received a letter from Baltimore Maryland April 8th, but was dated April 8.Stating my benefits were terminated
      in February. Also mr.phillips has not responded

      Reply
  7. david

    Thank you for taking the time to write to us Appreciate the useful info. clinica de recuperação

    Reply
  8. Hafiz S.

    God Still Bless us!

    My Blog Post Prediksi Euro2021

    Reply
  9. Abdellah N.

    To whom it concerns
    I am Abdellah Nadafi, Am American citizen SSN xxxxxxxxx
    Am married and I have a son, his name is Fahd Nadifi, his American citizen SSN xxxxxxxxx
    and I took him to the doctors and they told me that he has a disability
    And now I want to submit a disability request for my son hire 5 years old
    Did i send you medical evidence?
    And i didn’t receive 500 $ of covid19 for my son why?
    I need someone to work with me in this problem please
    Thank you
    God bless America

    Reply
    • Chard

      Well, the government can continue to work on fixing the system but you can’t fix stupid.

      Reply
  10. Ahmad S.

    Good day,
    I have been trying unsuccessfully to create my social security account for the last year and finally my efforts to create one were suspended. I am a US citizen (born in 1958) who is currently residing overseas in Lebanon and would like to create my account. Kindly advise on way forward.
    Regards,
    Ahmad Sayah

    Reply
    • Chard

      Scammer

      Reply
      • Edwin

        About time.. This could have been void and ppl lost money…

        Reply
    • Michelle R.

      My name is Michelle Rice. My disability was cut off without any notice! Someone name Mr. Phillips contacted me. Then next thing I know my disability was terminated! Also I received a letter from Baltimore Maryland April 8th, but was dated April 8.Stating my benefits were terminated
      in February. Also mr.phillips has not responded

      Reply
      • Ann C.

        Hi, Michelle. We are sorry to hear about your situation and experience. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

        Reply
      • Deann R.

        Going thru the same thing ! It’s hard on me,especially as I constantly keep fighting this yet keep being denied…i can’t take it ANYMORE !

        Reply
    • Patricia E.

      Yes I had one called me two days ago nd said it was the legal ssi office and I need to take action

      Reply

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