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Social Security Administration and its Inspector

November 19, 2019

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 Mark Hinkle, Acting Press Officer
For Immediate Release press.office@ssa.gov
News Release
SOCIAL SECURITY
Social Security National Press Office Baltimore, MD
Social Security Administration and its Inspector
General Announce New Online Reporting Form
for Imposter Scam Calls
Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, and Gail S. Ennis, the Inspector General
for the Social Security Administration, announce the launch of a dedicated online form at
https://oig.ssa.gov to receive reports from the public of 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 #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade
Commission and the Social Security Administration.
To combat these scams, Social Security and the OIG 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 investigative 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.
“We are taking action to raise awareness and prevent scammers from harming
Americans,” Commissioner Saul said. “I am deeply troubled that our country has not
been able to stop these crooks from deceiving some of the most vulnerable members of
our society.”
Commissioner Saul and Inspector General Ennis 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 (PIN), so if OIG contacts a person about their report, they
will know the call is legitimate.
“Awareness is our best hope to thwart the scammers,” said Inspector General Ennis. “Tell
your friends and family about them and report them to us when you receive them, but
most importantly, just hang up and ignore the calls.”
Social Security 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.
Social Security will not:
 Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended.
 Contact you to demand an immediate payment.
 Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
 Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a
retail gift card, or cash.
 Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal
the amount you owe.
 Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for
information or money.
If there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, in most cases
Social Security will mail a letter. If a person needs to submit payments to Social
Security, the agency will send a letter with instructions and payment options. People
should never provide information or payment over the phone or Internet unless they are
certain of who is receiving it.
The Social Security OIG will also continue to take reports of fraud, waste, and abuse in
Social Security’s programs and operations. A separate online form for those reports
remains available at their website.
# # #
To get more Social Security news, follow the Press Office on Twitter @SSAPress
This press release was produced and disseminated at U.S. taxpayer expense.

Mark Hinkle, Acting Press Officer
Lisa Wallace
(888) 397-5615 x21832