Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams

Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams
Posted on 08/26/2021

The New Hope Police Department has received several reports from community members who have been contacted by scammers posing as Social Security government employees. Often times they use threats and demand immediate payment to avoid being arrested or additional legal action being taken. Don’t be fooled – these are just attempts to intimidate you into providing payment or personal information.

The following tips from the Social Security Administration will help protect you, your friends and your family.

Be Alert
Social Security may reach out by phone in some situations but will NEVER:

  • Threaten you.
  • Suspend your Social Security number.
  • Demand an immediate payment from you.
  • Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card or wire transfer.
  • Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash.

Social Security may email or text you about programs and services, but will never ask for a return call to an unknown number. Social Security only sends emails or text messages if you have opted in to receive them and only in limited situations, including the following:

  • When you have subscribed with Social Security to receive updates and notifications by text or email.
  • As part of Social Security’s enhanced security when accessing your personal my Social Security account.

What to Look For

  • The caller or sender says there is a problem with your Social Security number or account.
  • Any call, text or email asking you to pay a fine or debt with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency or by mailing cash.
  • Scammers pretend they are from Social Security or another government agency. Caller ID, texts or documents sent by email may look official but they are not.
  • Callers threaten you with arrest or other legal action.

If you receive a suspicious call, text or email:

If you receive a call, text or email that you believe to be suspicious, about a problem with your Social Security number or account, do not respond or engage with the caller or sender.

  • Hang up.
  • Do not return unknown calls, texts or emails.
  • Do not give money or personal information.
  • Report Social Security phone, email and text scams to the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov.