FRAUD ADVISORY: Inspector General Warns Public About Calls from OIG "Imposters"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2017
 
The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is warning citizens about a nationwide telephone “imposter phishing” scheme.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have received several reports from citizens across the country about persons receiving phone calls from individuals posing as OIG investigators.  The caller indicates an issue exists pertaining to the person’s Social Security account or Social Security number (SSN) and directs the person call a non-SSA telephone number to address the issue.
 
The reports indicate the calls include a recording from a caller stating she is “Nancy Jones,” an “officer with the Inspector General of Social Security.”  The recording goes on to say the person’s Social Security account, SSN, and/or benefits are suspended, and that he or she should call 806-680-2373 to resolve the issue.  Citizens should be aware that the scheme’s details may vary; however, citizens should avoid calling the number provided, as the unknown caller might attempt to acquire personal information. 
 
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.
 
Acting Inspector General Stone said, “This phishing scheme is targeting unsuspecting persons for the purpose of Social Security benefit theft or identity theft.”  She warns citizens to be cautious, and to avoid providing personal information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.  “You must be very confident that the source is the correct business party, and that your information will be secure after you release it,” Stone said.
 
If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA or the OIG, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy.  (Those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.) 
 
For more information, please contact Andrew Cannarsa, OIG’s Communications Director, at (410) 965-2671.