Social Security Administration Warns of New Email Scam

You may have heard of or even been subject to Social Security scams via the phone, but the Inspector General of Social Security warns of a twist on these scams. Perpetrators are now targeting victims via email.

Victims have reported receiving emails with attached letters and reports that look “official.” The letters often use official letterhead and government jargon; however, they also may contain grammatical errors or misspellings.

The Inspector General urges taxpayers to exercise caution against all phone or email scams, no matter what “proof” the callers may offer.

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 a problem with your Social Security account, Social Security will ordinarily mail you a letter. You should never pay a government fee or fine using retail gift cards, cash, internet currency, wire transfers, or pre-paid debit cards. Scammers ask for this type of payment because it is very difficult to trace.

If you receive a call or email that you believe is suspicious, hang up and do not respond. You also can report Social Security phone scams online at

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