Avoid Social Security scams

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla., Oct. 17, 2022—Social Security imposter scams are widespread across the United States.

Scammers use targeted, sophisticated tactics to deceive individuals into providing sensitive information or money.

Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General has received reports of scammers creating fake versions of identification badges most federal employees use to gain access to federal buildings.

These badges use government symbols, words and even names and photos of real people that are available on government websites or through internet searches.

Scammers may text or email photos of fake badges to convince potential victims of their legitimacy.

Anyone who receives a suspicious letter, text, email or call should not respond.

The Social Security Administration will never:

  • Text or email images of an employee’s official government identification
  • Suspend a Social Security number
  • Threaten to arrest or other legal action unless a fine or fee is paid immediately
  • Require payment by retail gift card, wire transfer, internet currency or cash by mail
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment
  • Send “official” letters or reports containing personal information via email

The SSA only sends text messages if an individual has opted in to receive texts, and then only in limited situations.

For those who owe money to the SSA, a letter will offer payment options and appeal rights will be mailed to the individuals.

Report suspected Social Security imposter scams—and other Social Security fraud—to the OIG’s website. Previous Social Security fraud advisories are available.

Patti Boyd, Social Security District Manager in Fort Walton Beach, FL

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