New warning sent out about new twist to Social Security phone scam

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Social Security Inspector General, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public that telephone scammers may send fake documents by email to convince victims to comply with their demands.

The Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General has received reports of victims who received emails with attached letters and reports that appeared to be from Social Security or Social Security OIG.

The letters may use official letterhead and government wording to convince victims they are legitimate, and they may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes.

Ennis says this is the latest variation on Social Security phone scams, which continue to be widespread throughout the United States.

Scammers are using robocalls or live callers, where fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim there is identity theft or another problem with one’s Social Security number, account, or benefits. They may threaten arrest or other legal action, or may offer to increase benefits, protect assets, or resolve identity theft.

Ennis says Social Security will never threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine or fee; promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment; require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card; or send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If there is ever a problem with your Social Security number or record, in most cases you will be notified via letter in the mail. But, if you receive a call or email that you believe to be suspicious about a problem with your Social Security number or account, hang up or do not respond.

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