The Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, Gail S. Ennis, is pleased to announce today is National “Slam the Scam” Day, designated to raise public awareness of government imposter telephone scams that are widespread across the United States. This is part of National Consumer Protection Week, February 28 – March 6.
The Federal Trade Commission received reports of more than $174 million lost to government imposter scams in 2020. Every dollar lost represents a financial or emotional hardship victims have experienced. On National “Slam the Scam” Day, we partner with other agencies and the private sector to spread the word about how to identify – and avoid – these insidious scams, and to warn friends and family to just hang up.
Today’s events include:
- 1 p.m. ET: @SocialSecurity and @TheSSAOIG participate in a Spanish-language #OjoConLasEstafas on Twitter hosted by @USAgovespanol.
- 3 p.m. ET: @SocialSecurity and @TheSSAOIG participate in a #SlamTheSlamChat on Twitter hosted by @USAgov.
- 7 p.m. ET: Facebook Live with the SSA Office of the Inspector General and the Division of Consumer & Business Education at the Federal Trade Commission.
“We are working with the Department of Justice and law enforcement agencies across the United States to combat Social Security imposter scams—but our best weapon in this fight will always be awareness,” said Inspector General Ennis. “I want to thank the many agencies and organizations that have joined us in our effort this year to alert Americans to hang up on suspicious calls, and talk to their family and friends about phone scams.”
“I am deeply troubled that crooks are deceiving Americans and using fear tactics to trick people into providing personal information or money,” said Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul. “I urge everyone to remain vigilant, hang up on these fraudsters, and go to oig.ssa.gov to report any attempted scam.”
Inspector General Ennis urges everyone to be cautious of calls from a supposed 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 gift cards, wire transfer, internet currency, or by mailing cash; or
- text or email you photos of their government identification, or anything 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.
Many government agencies and private-sector entities are supporting National “Slam the Scam” Day, including the Social Security Administration, Federal Trade Commission, General Services Administration, Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture OIG, Walmart, CVS, Home Depot, AARP, and many others.
The public is encouraged to report Social Security scams online at https://oig.ssa.gov. Other government imposter scams may be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Join us on Facebook and Twitter to follow along on National “Slam the Scam” Day, and visit https://oig.ssa.gov/scam for more information.
Members of the press may make inquiries to Social Security OIG at email@example.com or (410) 965-2671.