DISB encourages District residents to protect themselves from scammers assuming the guise of Social Security Administration (SSA) officials.
A growing scam targeting District residents who are mostly of retirement age involves individuals who impersonate SSA officials. They contact victims by telephone and attempt to steal their personally identifiable information along with their money. The victim’s caller ID may display a telephone number identical to the SSA’s genuine number; scammers routinely “spoof” or imitate telephone numbers of official government agencies.
When the victim answers the call, the imposter will likely identify him- or herself as an SSA agent and provide a phony badge number. The bogus agent will then accuse the victim of committing fraudulent activities in connection with their Social Security number (SSN) and threaten arrest or legal proceedings. The imposter may also ask the victim to provide, for verification or confirmation purposes, their home address, bank and credit card account numbers, SSN, and date of birth.
The imposter will often tell the victim that a fine or debt must be paid immediately with either retail gift cards, internet currency, or by mailing cash. If the victim complies with this request for payment, the money is often unable to be recovered.
Although the SSA may call you in certain situations, it will never do the following:
- Threaten you with arrest or legal proceedings
- Suspend your SSN
- Demand immediate payment from you
- Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer
- Ask you to provide gift card numbers and their corresponding PINs over the phone
If you receive a questionable telephone call from someone claiming to be from the SSA, especially from an individual who threatens you with arrest, fines, or legal proceedings, hang up! You can report suspected fraud to the SSA’s Office of the Inspector General at oig.ssa.gov. You may also contact DISB’s Enforcement and Consumer Protection Division at (202) 727-8000.