Press Release

Thursday, March 5, 2020
For Immediate Release

The Social Security Administration (SSA) continues to raise public awareness about telephone impersonation schemes during the national ‘Slam the Scam’ Day on March 5. In these scams, fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems. SSA has taken swift actions, including creating a dedicated online reporting tool at oig.ssa.gov, providing people who call the agency with updated information on the scams and how to report them, increasing employee and public outreach and education, and establishing a Social Security workgroup to maximize resources and ensure a cohesive response.

“It is appalling that scammers are playing on emotions like fear to get people to act without thinking,” Andrew Saul, Commissioner of SSA, said. “Everyone should just hang up, and never give out their personal information. People should go online to oig.ssa.gov to report these Social Security scams.”

Scammers are sophisticated and there are many variations to this fraud. For example, a caller may say he is from Social Security and that the person’s Social Security number is suspended or has been used in a crime. The caller identification may be spoofed to appear to originate from a government number. Fraudsters may text or email fake documents in attempts to get people to comply with their demands. These scams have become the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security.

Social Security will never tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended, contact you to demand an immediate payment, ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone, ask for gift cards or cash, or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.

Social Security employees do occasionally contact people–generally those who have ongoing business with the agency–by telephone for business purposes. Typically, the agency 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 there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, in most cases Social Security will mail a letter.

For more information, please view Social Security’s PSA addressing the telephone impersonation scheme online at www.youtube.com/socialsecurity and below:

For additional information concerning social security disability appeals, visit:

Social Security Disability Appeals