The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, Gail S. Ennis, announced today that Trak-1 Technology, Inc. and People Facts, LLC, have agreed to pay a $103,950 penalty to resolve the Government’s claim that they misled consumers by including an image of the Social Security’s official seal in customer reports.
The two related companies provide background screening services. Both cooperated with the Social Security Office of the Inspector General (OIG), voluntarily discontinuing their use of the Social Security Administration’s seal when notified of the Government’s inquiry.
Under the settlement agreement, the companies did not admit to violating the law, but did agree to jointly pay a $103,950 penalty.
The Social Security OIG is authorized to enforce Section 1140 of the Social Security Act, a consumer protection law that prohibits people and companies from misleading consumers by giving a false impression of association with, or endorsement by, the Social Security Administration.
Section 1140 also prohibits reproducing and selling Social Security publications and forms without authorization, as well as charging for services that the SSA provides free, without providing proper notice.
The Social Security OIG can impose civil monetary penalties against individuals, organizations, or other entities that violate Section 1140. All monies collected go directly to Social Security’s Old-Age and Survivors Trust Fund.
Inspector General Ennis encourages the public to report suspected Section 1140 violations to the Social Security Fraud Hotline:
- online at https://oig.ssa.gov/report;
- by mail to P.O. Box 17785, Baltimore, MD, 21235;
- by fax at (410) 597-0118; or
- by phone at (800) 269-0271 from 10am to 6pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.