45 thoughts on “Inspector General Warns Public about Phone Calls from OIG “Imposters”

    • Hi, Johanna. Thanks for your question. We have several special services to help people who are blind or have low vision, and people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions. There are also different ways to receive information from us if you are blind or have a visual impairment. To learn more, visit our page, “Special Notice Option for the Blind or Visually Impaired.” You can also request Social Security publications in enlarged print. To request copies of these publications, visit our webpage called How to Order Alternative Media. We hope this helps!

      • Dear Mr what do you think if I am an disability ssi checks and social security administration send me a letter let me know I old ssa $19,68.00 to pay back I am 63 years old and I am disable what I can do

        • We wish we could be more help Lesly, but for security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. To request “partial withholding of your benefits” to repay the overpayment, you need to contact your local office as soon as possible or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. For more information and to learn about an appeal and waiver rights, read our publication on “Overpayments“.

  1. How are you able to distinguish if the caller is really from OIG?
    The article mentions “being confident” the calls really comes from OIG.

    • they simply will not call about that kind of information. government agencies send a letter on official letterhead

      • You’re right, we generally send a letter asking you to contact us if we need more information. Our official agency correspondence will always include our SSA seal and proper letterhead. Thanks.

        • This is incorrect. I had a SS person call me and act strange. I asked him to hold while I verified he was from SS and he hung up on me…..after finally getting through to the local office and their search he was a ss employee calling to ask my ss#. Now I have been under review for about a year.
          All because i had the audacity to question somebody with the last name smith calling and asking my SS#. I was told i should not have yelled at him and now I will have to wait some time to know if I lose my SS because of an unknown SS person calling me asking my SS number. Shouldn’t that person have had it?

    • OIG investigators occasionally contact citizens by telephone for investigative purposes, but they will not request sensitive personal information from a citizen over the phone. If a person receives a similar suspicious call from someone alleging to be from the OIG, citizens may report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

  2. I receive calls stating that their records show I have back or knee problems, and they wish to set me up with implements to relieve the pain. I asked where the calls are coming from. Several came from CA. Is it coincidental that I moved back to NJ from NV 1 1/2 years ago? Did the physicians in Vegas sell my records? Or do the callers assume all older folks have joint problems? I’ve told these callers do not call me with their scams! Any other calls, I immediately hang up. I don’t have time for them.

  3. I receive such a call stating that I owed money from 10 years ago. Explained to them that SSA or the IRS do not call and hung up!

    • You’re right Patricia, we generally send a letter asking you to contact us if we need more information. Remember that our official agency correspondence will always include our SSA seal and proper letterhead. When in doubt, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.

      • What you “GENERALLY” do is most unhelpful to those that get calls such as are here com[pained of>

        Eithjer you have a strict policy of NOT EVER calling for SS#s or else you DO NOT have such a policy.

        “If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare for battle?”

        Firm up yopur [policies or else remain foprever supect.

    • SSA and IRS ALWAYS mail out notices on just about everything, but definitely anything that affects your benefit, either positively or negatively.
      What these criminals are hoping is they get some sweet, trusting Senior or disabled person on the line who figures if the caller says they’re from the government, it must be the truth. Unfortunately, Baby Boomers (mostly) were raised to absolutely respect government officials, so they tend to be the targets of scams like this.
      Stealing from anyone is wrong, but from the elderly or disabled just makes it that much worse.
      Scams like this and many others are becoming the rule and not the exception & it’s just sad. Personally, I’m completely disabled and cannot work any longer. It’s almost a blessing because it gives me time each day to wade thru this junk.

    • You’re right Richard, we generally send a letter asking you to contact us if we need more information. Remember that our official agency correspondence will always include our SSA seal and proper letterhead. When in doubt, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.

  4. I hope when I tried to report the calls that I received got to someone. The caller would assure me my file was ok, but they needed to update information! I gave them nothing in return except to tell them the call may be recorded on my end, now tell me again the purpose for your call… and they promptly hung up! If an official truly wants information from you they send letters.

  5. Someone is still answering calls at that no. and stating that it is the SSA. Why are these people still in operation?

  6. If someone wants your SS# all they have to see is your Medicare card and gov’t will never change that because it would not be cost efficient. Right? Hey SS guys/gals; answer Augusto’s question. How do we know you is you?

    • Hi Charles. OIG investigators occasionally contact citizens by telephone for investigative purposes, but they will not request sensitive personal information from a citizen over the phone. We generally send a letter asking you to contact us if we need more information. Remember that our official agency correspondence will always include our SSA seal and proper letterhead. When in doubt, please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.

      • There you go again – “… We generally send a letter … ”

        HOw is your incessant “GENERALLY” aimed at helping people with serious doubtys and questions?

        Get a strict policy and run with it and no more GENERALLYs.

  7. When I receive these calls I let them begin, then I interrupt them and say, “someone is at my door. Hold on for a second and I’ll come back – I want to hear more about this.”

    It’s fun to see how long they wait before hanging up!

  8. I have not received an IRS but have received similar scams. I tell the I need some information: Your name, direct phone number, Supervisor’s name & phone, his/her SSA employee number. It has NEVER gotten that far before they hang up.

  9. We have received such calls on our landline and it is obvious that they are just phishing for personal information. We now don’t even answer calls on our landline. Friends and family know to reach us on our cell phones.

    My question to the Social Security Administration is what are they doing about these complaints? Publicly traded companies have us forward phishing emails and phone numbers to their fraud department so that they can put a stop to these crooks. With governmental agencies, whether it is the SSA, IRS, Medicare, etc., it is HARD to find a fraud abuse email address! The only one that I can easily find is the Post Office. Informing the public about these calls is one step, but what about putting a stop to these crooks?!?

    • We understand your concern, and ask that if a person receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from the OIG, to please report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report. Thanks!

    • If I am sespicious, and ZI am often extremely suspicious, then I ask them whether their Mommas know hopw they make their livings and does she kow you are a stinking crook. They always hang up.

  10. I have call waiting that pops up on my tv screen and pc monitor besides my phone. If I do not know the name or # I will not answer…saves me a lot of agravation.

  11. I am in the process of starting a disability claim. I went to an attorney that I chose locally. Of course they need my social security number and date of birth, but why do they need my mother’s maiden name?

    • Because if the lawyer calls SSA to get any information about you/your SS disability claim, the SSA employee will want alot of identifying information about you. Usually name, SSN#, address, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, and possibly where you were born.

      • It is a crying shame that a needy person should have to go to the cost of hiring a lawyer to make a disability claim.

        The US SS Dept. treats needy Americans as though they were thieves instead of expediting their claims and having them set up inside 24 hours as is the case in the UK.

        I speak from experience.

  12. Who do I contact about a call claiming they are calling from social security about my disability check. I do not get a disability check . They called 3 times in a row I answered last call shows wireless caller on caller ID .

  13. I do not have time for this I have seen people do there dirt and when the real authority comes around they disappear and said we are your friends if you want to know you will never know these people know when the authority comes out this is point less I have report numerous of times it is a doctor name Dr. Balu do work for MedStar Union Memorial hospital trying to play Psy. games I know that they practice Islam in Secret I was on both side of the fence I know ya want me by myself and I know ya are on the next one to keep on bring me in circle.

  14. Recently had a call on my answering machine. I made an exact transcript of the call. It went like this: “Good afternoon. This message is for (husband’s name). My name is Kimberly B. I work at the Social Security Administration in Jamaica, New York. And I am calling in reference to claim number (husband’s Social Security Number plus the letter “A”) as in adam. My phone number is 718-557-XXXX…” At this point I pick up the phone because we are dealing currently with a Social Security issue. She repeated her name but said due to the privacy act she could not speak to me. She wanted to speak to my husband who was out of town. She said she worked in Jamaica, New York at the Social Security payment center. I asked her for her ID number. She stuttered a bit and put the phone down and I could hear her using her keyboard. I was on hold listening to keyboard sounds for about six minutes. Then she came back and gave me her employee number, which was so odd. Her ID number was 69658-615-0607. I was surprised that it took her so long to give me her ID number. Then she proceeded to explain the digits in her ID number to me. She told me I should call 1-800-772-1213 to check on her employment. I told her it all sounded too complicated but told her I wrote down everything she told me. End of the call. The caller ID said “U S Government 718-557-3000”. This occurred on March 31, 2017. To this date, we have not called back and we have received no more calls. I know if my husband had answered the call that day, he would have been scammed simply because we were waiting for a followup from Social Security either by US Mail or phone call for the last three months. I think it was a scam/phishing call but not totally sure. Could the OIG check this out and let me know? Is it policy to leave a Social Security Number in a voice message on an answering machine? Is the employee ID number that complicated and difficult for an employee to retrieve? Would it be prudent for anyone getting a call from SSA to ask for an ID number before answering any questions and if so, how many digits or letters are in that number? Thanks in advance for a response.

    • Even though this appears to be a legitimate call from one of our representatives, we have referred this information to our operations staff for follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business, but you should not have to provide your personal information, like your Social Security number or bank account number. Agency employees will not make unsolicited calls and request personal information. To verify the legitimacy of any text messages, emails, or phone calls, you may call Social Security’s nationwide toll-free customer service at 1 800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). We appreciate your feedback, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  15. This morning I received a call from someone stating they were from SSA in Arkansas about my daughters benefits. We have always lived in Texas and questioned the woman about what she was saying. She became very rude stating that she had my daughter’s ssn in front of her. And that Texas was behind in the claims and Arkansas now has my daughter’s file. When I told her I was calling SSA she said that was fine and I could call back. I called the SSA number and ask the young lady on the phone if Texas was behind in the process and sending them to other states such as Arkansas. She said no. I thanked her and said I didn’t think so and thanked her for her time and hung up. The number was 501-682-6162 all the numbers from the Arkansas area SSA was 800 numbers not there local area codes.

    • You did well Beverly and we thank you for sharing this incident. It is possible that an SSA employee may contact you to follow-up on a previous application for SSA/Medicare Part D benefits or to follow-up on other business you initiated with SSA. If you are unsure as to the authenticity of someone who claims to be an SSA employee, please call SSA’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller. See “Scams Involving the Impersonation of an SSA Employee” for more information.

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