The Social Security Administration and its Inspector General announced the launch of a new online form for reporting Social Security-related scams.
The form, found at https://oig.ssa.gov, will help the Administration capture data that will be analyzed for trends, commonalities, and investigative leads to help identify criminal entities or individuals participating in or facilitating a scam.
Scams involving Social Security numbers are the number one type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration. Often these scams mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for unsubstantiated Social Security number problems.
In a statement released on November 19, Commissioner of Social Security Andrew Saul said, “We are taking action to raise awareness and prevent scammers from harming Americans. I am deeply troubled that our country has not been able to stop these crooks from deceiving some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”
The new reporting tool will allow users to create a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN will help a person know a call is legitimate if the Office of the Inspector General contacts them about their report.
“Awareness is our best hope to thwart the scammers,” said Inspector General Gail S. Ennis. “Tell your friends and family about them and report them to us when you receive them, but most importantly, just hang up and ignore the calls.”
As a reminder, 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.
In most cases, if there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, Social Security will mail a letter.