Posted Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Social Security Administration Announces Online Reporting Form for Imposter Scam Calls

The Morris County Department of Human Services is urging county residents to take advantage of a new dedicated online form set up by the federal government at https://oig.ssa.gov to report Social Security-related scams.

artwork of a social security card

Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, and Gail Ennis, the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, said the online form will help capture data that will be analyzed for trends and commonalities. The OIG also 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.

These scams, in which fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems, skyrocketed over the past year to become the number one type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration.

“We are taking action to raise awareness and prevent scammers from harming residents,” Commissioner Saul said. “I am deeply troubled that we have not been able to stop these crooks from deceiving some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”

“Morris County residents, especially our older population, need to be protected from these scams. Report them to the new system when possible, but most importantly, you should hang up and ignore the calls when thet come in,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo, who is the county governing board’s liaison on human services issues.

Morris County residents are encouraged 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.