Scammers are taking advantage of the Social Security Administration’s office closures due to coronavirus. These scammers are sending beneficiaries fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits unless they call a phone number. Scammers may then mislead beneficiaries into providing personal information or payment to maintain regular benefit payments while the Social Security Administration’s offices are closed.
Please be wary of these scams. You should know that the Social Security Administration will never:
- Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee;
- Promise a benefit increase in exchange for payment;
- Require payment by any form of cash, wire transfer, or retail gift card;
- Send official office letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email; or
- Demand secrecy from you in handling problems.
As of March 17, local Social Security Administration offices are closed to the public. But the Administration is continuing to provide critical services via phone, mail, and online. More importantly, due to the current coronavirus pandemic, Social Security will NOT suspend or decrease benefit payments. Any communication that claims otherwise is a scam, whether received by letter, text, email or phone call.
If you receive a communication that you believe to be suspicious, hang up or do not respond. The Office of the Inspector General is encouraging people who receive fraudulent communication to use their online forms to report the scam. You can find these online forms here. For more information, visit oig.ssa.gov/scam.