The Office of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration (OIG) reported the increase in fraud attempts in which Social Security beneficiaries (SSN) were asked to pay to reactivate or restore their benefits.
That is why the OIG is alerting the public that scammers are making phone calls and then sending “follow up” emails, containing falsified documents, with the purpose of convincing people to pay them.
They falsely claim to be government officials, and will warn you of any difficulties with your Social Security number, account, or benefits, including suspected identity theft. During the call they often threaten you with arrest or other legal action if you do not pay using a gift card, cash, an electronic transfer, virtual currency such as Bitcoin, or a prepaid debit card.
If you receive a harassing call, it is a scam, because the
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will never threaten you with arrest or any
other legal action if you do not immediately pay a fee.
In the event of a conflict with your Social Security number or record, SSA will
will send a letter notifying you.
Scammers make mistakes, so check carefully for emails containing falsified letters or reports that appear to come from the SSA or OIG. Letters may include language or headers that may look official, but may also contain misspelled words or misspellings.
If you need to make payments to SSA, SSA will send you a letter with instructions and possible options for making these payments using the mail service.
You should never pay a fee or penalty to the government using store gift cards, cash, virtual currency, wire transfers, or prepaid debit cards. Similarly, SSA officials will never promise to increase your Social Security benefits, or any other assistance, in exchange for payment.
If you have been the victim of a Social Security scam, report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, or Federal Trade Commission, on its website and to the SSA Inspector General’s Office Against Fraud.
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