Penalties for fraud include possible fines and imprisonment.
Penalties are imposed if a person with intent to defraud:
Willfully and knowingly deceives, misleads, or threatens any claimant, prospective claimant, or beneficiary regarding benefits by word, circular, letter, or advertisement;
Knowingly charges or collects, whether directly or indirectly, any fee more than the maximum fee set by the Commissioner of Social Security;
Makes false statements or misrepresentations in applying for benefits;
Makes false statements or misrepresentations of material facts at any time if for use in determining benefit rights;
Conceals, or fails to reveal, information about events affecting initial or continued right to benefits or the amount of payment; or
Converts payments received on behalf of another to a use other than for the use and benefit of the eligible person.