Today, I am warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19 or coronavirus-related office closures. Social Security will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed. Continue reading
Today is National “Slam the Scam” Day! What does that mean?
We created National “Slam the Scam” Day to warn Americans about widespread phone scams where callers impersonate government officials, most often Social Security, to gain your trust and steal your money. The most effective way to defeat scammers is by knowing how to identify scams, then hanging up or ignoring the calls.
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning of a new tactic by government imposters to reach — and victimize — Americans by phone. We have received reports of text messages on cell phones that appear to come from Social Security. The texts warn about a Social Security number problem. They ask the recipient to call a number back to resolve the problem and avoid legal action.
Social Security phone scams are the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security. Over the past year, these scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Social Security encourages you to use the new online form to report Social Security phone scams to disrupt the scammers and help us reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims. Continue reading
The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning citizens about a caller-ID “spoofing” scheme misusing the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) Fraud Hotline phone number. The OIG has received recent reports of phone calls displaying the Fraud Hotline number on a caller-ID screen. This is a scam; OIG employees do not place outgoing calls from the Fraud Hotline 800 number. Citizens should not engage with these calls or provide personal information. Continue reading
It’s the morning of a busy day at home and you get a call from an unknown number. You answer only to find yourself on the receiving end of a threatening message saying your Social Security benefits will stop immediately unless you provide your personal information. It happens every day to thousands of Americans. And it’s not Social Security calling. Continue reading
Gale Stallworth Stone, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of a nationwide telephone impersonation scheme. Since alerting the public in early March about suspicious calls from people posing as Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigators, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the OIG have received additional reports and information about the phone scheme from citizens across the country. Continue reading
Have you heard the expression, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”? That is a good rule of thumb to spot a scam. Educating yourself is the best defense against fraud, identity theft, and scams. National Consumer Protection Week, sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), takes place March 5 to11, 2017. It’s the perfect time to learn about and share ways to make informed choices and protect yourself. To learn more or to get involved, visit the FTC website. Continue reading
Natural disasters bring out the best in people. The ever-present generosity of Americans is front and center right now, as we try to help the victims of the Louisiana flood. Millions have given their time and donated to the relief funds and charities.
Unfortunately, times like these also bring out people looking to profit from others’ misfortune. For example, by creating fake charities and devising other ways to take advantage of donors. Continue reading
With the tax season wrapping up, scammers are out in full force. Perhaps you received a phone call demanding payment from the IRS. They may threaten you with legal action if you do not pay immediately, or say things like, “we are sending the police to arrest you.” While these calls may seem scary, it is important to understand that they are not legitimate. This scam, which started in October 2013, has claimed over $29 million from its victims. Unfortunately, this is just one of many scams designed to make you believe you are speaking with a legitimate government official. Continue reading