Social Security Administration Phone Scam

Posted: February 15, 2019

With all of the various ways malicious people try to steal our identities, it should not be a surprise that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a warning about an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) impersonation scheme.

In this new scam, the call comes from an individual named "Gale Stone" (who happens to be the Acting Inspector General for Social Security) and may state that your Social Security number is at risk of being deactivated or deleted. This caller then urges you to call a phone number, which they will provide to you, to resolve the issue.

Of course, it is important to be aware that the details of this phone call may vary—they may tell you that your Social Security check will be delayed or will be stopped if you do not respond; however, you should avoid engaging with the caller or calling the number provided to you, as the caller may be attempting to acquire your personal information.

Remember, you are always in control. Social Security will never do any of the following:

  • Call you to demand an immediate payment;
  • Demand that you pay a debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe;
  • Require a specific means of payment, such as requiring you to pay with a prepaid debit card;
  • Ask you for your personal information or credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
  • Threaten you with arrest or deportation.

The Acting Inspector General is urging citizens to be aware and to be cautious. Avoid providing information such as your Social Security number or bank account numbers to individuals over the phone who you do not know. Do not be afraid to hang up on the caller and contact Social Security directly to validate the call, and if you do receive a call similar to the examples above, contact the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 to report it or online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report. The full press release from the SSA can be found here: https://oig.ssa.gov/newsroom/news-releases/oct9-advisory.

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