Impostors claiming to be from Social Security to get your personal information
The Social Security Administration and its Office of the Inspector General are warning the public about a nationwide telephone scam. Criminals impersonating Social Security officials are actively calling individuals around the country claiming there are problems with the person’s Social Security number as well as pending legal action against them. Callers coerce victims into providing personal information and money by threatening to suspend their accounts.
“We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or Internet,” says Nancy A. Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security.
Although Social Security employees will occasionally contact people by telephone, Berryhill stresses that such calls usually concern ongoing business with the agency. Social Security would never make threats or promise benefits in exchange for information.
“If you receive a call and are not expecting one, you must be extra careful,” Berryhill says. “You can always get the caller’s information, hang up, and contact the official phone number of the business or agency the caller claims to represent. Do not reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you.”
If you get a suspicious call about your Social Security account, you should report it to the Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline by phone at 800-269-0271, or by going online to oig.ssa.gov/report.
A video public service announcement addressing the scam is available here.