Spot Social Security imposter scams with these tips



Social Security cheaters are rife in the US. Scammers use targeted, sophisticated tactics to trick victims into providing sensitive information or money.

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Scams by Social Security fraudsters are widespread in the United States. Scammers use targeted, sophisticated tactics to trick you into providing sensitive information or money.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of Social Security has received reports of scammers making counterfeit versions of the identification badges most federal employees use to access federal buildings. The scammers can text or email pictures of the fake badges to convince potential victims of their legitimacy. These badges use government symbols, words, and even names and photos of real people, which are available on government websites or through internet searches.

If you receive a suspicious letter, text, email or phone call, hang up or don’t respond. Social Security wants you to know how to identify a scammer and avoid becoming a victim.

We will never:

  • Text or email images of an employee’s official government identification.
  • Suspend your citizen service number.
  • Threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or compensation.
  • Requires payment by gift card, wire transfer, internet currency or cash by mail.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other help for a fee.
  • Send “official” letters or reports with your personal information via email.

We will only send text messages if you have opted in to receive text messages from us and only in limited situations, including the following:

  • When you have subscribed to receive updates and notifications by SMS.
  • As part of our enhanced security when accessing your personal mine Social security account.

If you owe us money, we will send you a letter with payment options and rights of appeal.

We encourage you to report suspected Social Security scams—and other Social Security frauds—on the OIG’s website at You can read our past Social Security fraud advisories at Please share this information with your friends and family to help spread awareness about Social Security scams.

— Vonda Van Til is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write to her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at [email protected]

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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