However, if you fall victim to fraud, it can really stress you out,
not to mention damage your credit score and wallet. The Social
Security staff encourages you to be cautious of suspicious email,
letters and phone calls or any time someone asks for your personal
Generally, Social Security will not call or email you and ask for
your personal information such as your Social Security number or
banking information. If someone contacts you and asks for this kind
of information and claims to be from Social Security, do not give
out your personal information without first contacting Social
Security to verify the validity of the request. It could be an
identity thief phishing for your personal information. Contact the
Social Security toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY
Report suspicious calls to the Social Security Fraud Hotline at
1-800-269-0271 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time or online at
http://oig.ssa.gov/, using the
"Fraud, Waste or
Abuse" link. When making a report, include as
many of the following details as possible:
Names of the alleged suspects and victims, along with addresses,
phone numbers, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
Description of the fraud and the location where the fraud took
When and how the fraud was committed.
Why the person committed the fraud (if known).
Who else has knowledge of the potential violation.
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America.
If you or anyone you know has been the victim of identity theft, you
should contact the Federal Trade Commission at
call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338); TTY 1-866-653-4261.
[to top of second column]
Misleading advertisers may victimize people who receive Social
Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Such companies
offer Social Security services for a fee, even though the same
services are available free of charge directly from Social Security.
Especially upsetting are ads that make it appear as though they came
directly from a Social Security office. By law, such advertisements
must indicate that the company is not affiliated with Social
If you see what you believe is misleading advertising for Social
Security services from a company that fails to say it is not
affiliated with Social Security, report it at: Office of the
Inspector General, Fraud Hotline, Social Security Administration,
P.O. Box 17768, Baltimore, MD 21235. This goes for advertisements in
print, online, or on television or radio. Also, advise your state's
attorney general or consumer affairs office and the Better Business
Bureau. You can visit the Social Security Office of the Inspector
General online at http://oig.ssa.gov/ and select the "Fraud, Waste or
Learn more about identity theft and misleading advertising by
reading the publications on these subjects at
You may have enough stress already. Don't get stressed over
[Text from file received from the
Social Security office