Inspector General Announces 2nd National “Slam the Scam” Day

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2021
 
The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, Gail S. Ennis, is designating Thursday, March 4, 2021 as the second annual National “Slam the Scam” Day, to raise public awareness of government imposter telephone scams, which continue to be widespread across the United States. This is part of National Consumer Protection Week, February 28 – March 6.
 
Last year, we received over 718,000 reports of Social Security-related telephone scams—with a total of $44.8 million reported lost. Victims who lost money reported an average loss of $5,800. On National “Slam the Scam” Day, we will work to spread the word far and wide about these insidious scams, and encourage people to warn their friends and family to just hang up.
 
On the first National “Slam the Scam” Day, we partnered with SSA, other Federal agencies, Members of Congress, and nonprofit and retail organizations to help promote scam awareness on this day and throughout the year. This year, we will expand our efforts, partnering with more agencies and organizations, and seeking opportunities to work with local and national media outlets to amplify our message.
 
On March 3, 2021, Inspector General Ennis and Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, will hold a press call to discuss scam awareness and answer questions. On March 4, 2021, USA.gov will host a “Slam the Scam” Twitter chat about all types of consumer scams, and SSA will host a Facebook Live event to share what we are doing to combat Social Security-related phone scams, and what the public can do. As we plan these events, we will share more details.
 
Inspector General Ennis urges Americans to be very cautious of calls from a government agency telling you about a problem you don’t recognize. Real government officials will NEVER:
  • threaten arrest or legal action against you unless you immediately send money;
  • promise to increase your benefits or resolve identity theft if you pay a fee or move your money into a protected account;
  • require payment with retail gift card, wire transfer, internet currency, or by mailing cash; or
  • text or email you messages containing your personal information.

If you ever owe money to Social Security, the agency will mail you a letter with payment options and appeal rights. Social Security does not suspend Social Security numbers or demand secrecy from you in resolving a problem—ever.

Visit oig.ssa.gov/scam for more information about National “Slam the Scam” Day and Social Security-related phone scams. This March 4, we hope you will help us “slam the scam”!

Members of the press may make inquiries to Social Security OIG at oig.dcom@ssa.gov or (410) 965-2671.

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