No, your Social Security number has not been suspended.
As incredible as that idea even sounds, people across Texas and the nation have been told that in recent months, along with equally suspicious statements and request. It’s all part of what the Social Security Administration (SSA) calls an “ongoing telephone impersonation scheme.”
“I want every American to know that if a suspicious caller states that there is a problem with their Social Security number or account, they should hang up and never give the caller money or personal information,” warned Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul. He advised anyone who has been contacted by phone to report the scam online at oig.ssa.gov.
A new wrinkle in the scam, which often tries to extort money from unsuspicious people, is the inclusion of documents on authentic-looking letterhead.
It’s all fake, though, and sometimes those same documents – that purport to be from the SSA or the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) – contain errors in spelling or grammar that should make recipients question their veracity.
Though the SSA occasionally contacts people by phone, the agency says it will never
• Tell you your number has been suspended
• Demand an immediate payment
• Ask for credit or debit card information
• Ask for a prepaid debit card or gift card
• Demand a debt be paid without the ability to appeal the decision
• Promise an approval of or increase in benefits in exchange for information or money
• Make any threats
Under most circumstances, the SSA will contact Americans by mail and if that happens, any payments that may be due will come for options for remittance.
A public service announcement explaining the telephone impersonation scheme can be viewed at youtube.com/socialsecurity.