New Online Reporting Form for Imposter Scam Calls
Recently, Commissioner Andrew Saul and Inspector General Gail S. Ennis announced the launch of an online form at oig.ssa.gov where the public can report Social Security-related phone scams. These scams — in which callers pretend to be government employees to trick victims into providing personal information or money in cash, wire transfers, or gift cards — skyrocketed over the past year to become the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration. The scammers often make threats including arrest.
Now, scammers have added a new twist. They may send your clients emails with fake letters or reports that appear to be from Social Security, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), or other agencies. The letters may appear to use official letterhead and government jargon to look legitimate.
Encourage your clients to remain vigilant against scams. Real Social Security employees will never:
- 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.
- Email sensitive information.
Please ask your clients to use the online form at oig.ssa.gov to report Social Security-related phone and email scams. The information they provide — even if they do not fall for the scam — helps the OIG curb this fraud. People who submit the form can create a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN), so if OIG contacts them they will know the call is legitimate.
If you or your clients receive a suspicious call or email, hang up or do not respond, do not share any information or provide any form of money, and report it at oig.ssa.gov. Awareness and education are vital to protecting people. Please encourage your clients to read our FAQ and our blog post, Inspector General Warns Public about New Twist to Social Security Phone Scams, at blog.ssa.gov. Thank you for helping us get the word out.
Commissioner Andrew Saul Addresses the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging about Imposter Scams
Commissioner Andrew Saul addressed the Senate’s Special Committee on Aging on January 29. He spoke frankly about ongoing scams trying to trick the American public into giving up personal information and money. Some of these scammers pretend to be from Social Security or other government agencies. Commissioner Saul explained how we are educating the public about these impersonation scams and urged the public to use our new online fraud form to report them.
In his testimony, Commissioner Saul said:
“Scammers are sophisticated. We want everyone to know that if they get a suspicious Social Security-related call, hang up and report it at oig.ssa.gov. Do not trust caller ID, do not give your Social Security Number or other personal information. Do not provide money. Our employees will never threaten or demand money from you.”
You and your clients can watch the hearing or read the transcript at www.aging.senate.gov/hearings/thats-not-the-government-calling-protecting-seniors-from-the-social-security-impersonation-scam.
Making Wise Choices When a Representative Payee Manages Your Money
Millions of people who get monthly Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments need help managing their money and other business with Social Security. If your client is one of these people, we will assign a representative payee to help your client manage their monthly benefits. When assigning a representative payee, our goal is to identify and select a responsible person who knows your client and wants to help.
The publication at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10076.pdf provides helpful information about being a representative payee.
This New Year, Show Your Clients What They Can Do Online at SocialSecurity.gov
Your clients may have made a New Year’s resolution to find more time for what they enjoy. We can help. Our online services make it easy for them to conveniently do business with us when their schedule allows. Please direct them to www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices.
For an enhanced online experience, your clients will benefit from opening their own my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Your clients can check their benefit application status, set up or change their direct deposit, and request a replacement Social Security card. We continue to add new options like personalized retirement benefit estimates and online notice receipt.
Please share these helpful resources with your clients today.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment
Let your clients know that, from January 1 through March 31, Medicare Advantage enrollees can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another at www.Medicare.gov.
Your clients can also learn more about how
Social Security and Medicare interact at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/medicare, where they can also sign up for Medicare.