Social Security Administration Needs Your Help Stopping Scammers

June 9, 2023

The Social Security Administration and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continued to raise public awareness about Social Security imposter scams during the fourth annual “Slam the Scam” Day on March 9. Social Security scams — where fraudsters pressure victims into making cash or gift card payments to fix alleged Social Security number problems or to avoid arrest— are an ongoing government imposter fraud scheme.

For several years, Social Security impersonation scams have been one of the most common government imposter scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission. Social Security has made concerted efforts to address this issue, through extensive outreach and investigative initiatives. These efforts have made a significant impact, reducing money reported lost to Social Security scams by 30 percent from 2021 to 2022.

“I am proud of the work we have done to combat Social Security imposter scams and raise public awareness,” said Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner of Social Security. “We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to protect the public and their critical benefits. We urge Americans to remain vigilant, do not give out personal information or money, and report any scam attempts.”

Scam Ps
Social Security Administration

For example, scammers pretend they are from Social Security in phone calls or emails and claim there is a problem with the person’s Social Security number. The scammer’s caller ID may be spoofed to look like a legitimate government number. Scammers may also send fake documents to pressure people into complying with demands for information or money. Other common tactics include citing “badge numbers” and using fraudulent Social Security letterhead to target individuals for payment or personal information.

Social Security will never tell you that your Social Security number is suspended; contact you to demand an immediate payment; threaten you with arrest; ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone; request gift cards or cash; or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information or money.
Social Security employees do contact the public by telephone for business purposes. Ordinarily, the agency calls people who have recently applied for a Social Security benefit, are already receiving payments and require an update to their record, or have requested a phone call from the agency. If there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, Social Security will typically mail a letter.

“Working with our law enforcement and private sector partners to inform consumers about scammers and their deceptive practices remains a priority for my office. Slamming the scam begins with consumers quickly taking a step to hang up the phone, or delete suspicious texts and emails, without responding to the scammers,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “That remains the easiest and most effective method to avoid falling prey to these vicious scams.”
To report a scam attempt, go to

NC Attorney General Josh Stein on ACA Protection & Fraud Prevention

Attorney General Josh Stein

February 2022

As your attorney general, it’s an honor for me to go to work every day to protect the people of North Carolina. My colleagues at the Department of Justice and I are dedicated to making North Carolinians’ lives better. You all understand the reward that comes from public service because you have also devoted your lives to serving others – thank you. As attorney general, please know that I am committed to safeguarding the rights of older or retired North Carolinians.

That includes fighting to make sure you can receive affordable quality health care. I have fought to defend the Affordable Care Act all the way to the Supreme Court – and won. The ACA protects more than 4 million North Carolinians from being discriminated against because of their pre-existing conditions, and it saves more than 1.8 million North Carolina seniors more than $1,100 a year on drug costs on average. Health care is a basic right, and I’ll continue to defend it. 

Additionally, my Consumer Protection Division works to protect seniors, students, and consumers from frauds and scams. During my time as attorney general, my office has won back more than $2.5 billion through consumer and taxpayer relief for the people of North Carolina. 

Fraudsters often prey on older or vulnerable populations to try to scam you out of your hard-earned money. In 2021 alone, my office received more than 1,000 complaints of elder fraud. 

Of course, the issue I hear about the most is robocalls. They are a scourge that disrupt our peace of mind every single day, and worse, rob people of their hard-earned money. Last year, North Carolinians filed more than 10,000 robocall reports with my office. That’s why I’m leading a nationwide group of 51 attorneys general and 15 phone companies to push the phone companies to put technology in place that prevents these robocalls from coming to your phone in the first place. 

And we’re also working together to hold these scammers accountable for their behavior. This January, I brought a lawsuit against telephone service provider Articul8 and its owner Paul K. Talbot for allowing tens of millions of illegal robocalls from international callers on the U.S. telephone network. The only way telemarketers can inundate our phones with robocalls is with the complicity of these gateway phone companies. These phone companies turn a blind eye to illegal robocalls in order to make money on each call. It’s wrong. It violates state and federal law, and I won’t tolerate it.

But the best thing you can do to protect yourself is watch out for the common warning signs of a scam: 

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
  • A lot of exciting offers require you to make a small advance payment first. Don’t fall for it.
  • Don’t give your bank account or Social Security number to anyone you don’t know. 
  • If you get a call or email from someone you don’t recognize, or from a company you may do business with, examine it closely. Call or email the business back through a number or website you know to be legitimate. 
  • Pay with your credit card when you purchase so you can dispute a purchase if needed.
  • If you’re feeling pressured or something doesn’t feel right, pause and verify with someone you trust. 

I encourage you to visit our website at to learn more about how you can recognize the signs of a scam and protect yourself. If you have questions or think you might have been victimized by a scammer, report it to my office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or

As your attorney general, I’ll go after anyone who breaks the law to harm North Carolinians. And I’ll continue to fight to protect your rights and make sure we all have the opportunity to pursue our dreams, take care of those we love, be a part of strong, stable communities, and live out our lives with dignity. Thank you for your service to our state and its people.