A dedicated online form at https://oig.ssa.gov has been launched to receive reports from the public about Social Security-related scams.
These scams—in which fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems—skyrocketed over the past year to become the No. 1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration.
To combat these scams, Social Security and the Office of the Inspector General will use the new online form to capture data that will be analyzed for trends and commonalities. The OIG will use the data to identify leads, which could help identify criminal entities or individuals participating in or facilitating the scams. Ultimately, these efforts are expected to disrupt the scammers, help reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims.
SSA encourage the public to use the new online form to report Social Security phone scams including robocalls and live callers, as well as email, text, and in-person scams. The form allows people to create a unique Personal Identification Number so if OIG contacts a person about their report, they will know the call is legitimate.
SSA employees do occasionally contact people—generally those who have ongoing business with the agency—by telephone for business purposes. However, Social Security employees will never threaten a person, or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money. In those cases, the call is fraudulent and people should just hang up.
Generally, the agency mainly calls people who have recently applied for a Social Security benefit, someone who is already receiving payments and requires an update to their record, or a person who has requested a phone call from the agency. If a person is not in one of these situations, they normally would not receive a call from the agency.
If there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, in most cases Social Security will mail a letter.
People should never provide information or payment over the phone or Internet unless they are certain of who is receiving it. (PR)