What Is Fraud, Waste, or Abuse?

A variety of situations may be considered fraud, waste, or abuse against Social Security.

These include:

Making false statements on claims

When people apply for Social Security Benefits, they state that all information they provide on the forms are true and correct to the best of their knowledge. If a person reports something they know is not true, it may be a crime. [More information]

Concealing facts or events which affect eligibility for Social Security benefits

It may be considered fraud if a person makes a false statement on an application or does not tell SSA of certain facts that may affect benefits. [More information]

Misuse of benefits by a Representative Payee

Sometimes, people who receive Social Security Benefits are not able to handle their own financial affairs. In those cases, SSA appoints a relative, friend, or another individual or organization to handle their Social Security matters. It may be a crime if a Representative Payee misuses a person’s Social Security Benefits. [More information]

Buying or selling counterfeit or legitimate Social Security cards

Buying and selling counterfeit or legitimate Social Security cards is a crime. [More information]

SSN Misuse Involving People with Links to Terrorist Groups or Activities

The SSA/OIG is committed to protecting the security of our Nation. If you know of anyone or any group misusing SSNs for the purpose of committing terrorist acts, please contact our fraud hotline immediately.

Crimes Involving SSA Employees

As public servants, SSA employees are expected to maintain a high level of integrity when it comes to facilitating the business of the Social Security Administration. As such, SSA/OIG takes seriously any crimes involving SSA employees.  [More Information]

Scams Involving the Impersonation of an SSA Employee

We sometimes receive reports where individuals have been contacted by someone pretending to be an SSA employee. The intent of this type of call may be to steal your identity and/or money from your bank accounts. You should not provide any information to these individuals. [More information]

Bribery of a Social Security Administration Employee

It is illegal for anyone to offer a government employee anything of value, such as money or gifts, in exchange for government services. [More information]

Fraud or Misuse of Grant or Contracting Funds

The SSA oversees hundreds of contracts and grants. The Fraud Hotline processes allegations of fraud, waste, or mismanagement related to contracts and grants. [More information]

Standards of Conduct Violations

Public Service is a public trust. All SSA employees are bound by the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch. Violations should be reported to the OIG Fraud Hotline. [More information]

Worker's Compensation Fraud

Generally, Social Security disability benefits are reduced for persons who are receiving workers' compensation. It could be fraud if a person receiving Social Security disability has not informed the SSA that they’ve received workers' compensation benefits. [More information]