These scams, which usually involve fake callers to mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for so-called Social Security number problems, have skyrocketed over the past year to become the No. 1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and SSA, the regional office said in a prepared statement.
Click here for the link to the form:
Commissioner Andrew Saul and Inspector General Gail Ennis encourage the public to use the new online form to report Social Security phone scams that include 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.
Agency employees do occasionally contact people by telephone -- generally those who have ongoing business with the agency. SSA employees will never threaten, or promise a 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 SSA.
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 the SSA will mail a letter. If a person needs to submit payments, 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.
Social Security will not:
- Tell you 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