(WEEK) – Another scam is making the rounds in Central Illinois – this one claiming to be from your local Social Security office.
Caller ID appearing to come from a correctional facility in the state of Georgia shows up on calls informing recipients that their Social Security benefits have been halted and they need to provide their full name and full Social Security number.
The Social Security Administration will never ask for your full Social Security number, or make any payments over the phone.
The Social Security Administration has a new dedicated online form for people to submit reports of Social Security related scams.
Accessible at https://oig.ssa.gov, the Social Security Administration and its Office of Inspector General 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, according to a release.
Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and Inspector General Gail 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.
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.