SSA Impersonation Schemes
In a blog post on July 16th by Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director, the Inspector General issued a warning about Social Security Administration (SSA) Impersonation Schemes.
SSA and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have recently received several reports of suspicious phone calls claiming to be from SSA.
From the blog post:
In one case, an automated recording states the person’s Social Security number (SSN) “has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity,” and the person should contact a provided phone number immediately to resolve the issue. The call concludes by stating if the person does not contact the provided phone number, the person’s assets will be frozen until the alleged issue is resolved. In another case, a caller claims to be from “SSA headquarters” and waits for the person to provide personal information, such as an SSN, address, and date of birth. In January, the OIG shared similar information from the Federal Trade Commission, which reported an increase in reports of suspicious phone calls from people claiming to be SSA employees.
It should be noted that, SSA employees do occasionally reach out to citizens by telephone, but those calls would be for customer-service purposes. If someone calling asks you to confirm personal information, and you do not already know that information will be requested, be suspicious. The need for personal information by someone calling from the Social Security Administration only happens in very few limited special situations.
Always avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet.
If you have questions about any communication by the SSA, be it email, letter, text or phone call, contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy. (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.)
If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, please report that information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.