In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 191,000 complaints of government imposter scams. Of those, 14.6% said they lost money to a scammer – a total of $508.96 million. To prevent further losses, we urge everyone to use caution when receiving calls or messages from someone claiming to be from a government agency.
Recognizing the basic signs of a scam is helpful in stopping fraudulent activity. Remember:
- Scammers pretend to be from an agency or organization you know to gain your trust.
- Scammers say there is a problem or a prize.
- Scammers pressure you to act immediately.
- Scammers tell you to pay in a specific way.
Social Security will never:
- Threaten arrest or legal action if someone does not immediately send money to resolve an overpayment.
- Promise to increase benefits or resolve identity theft issues for a fee or by moving money into a protected account.
- Require payment with a retail gift card, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, wire transfer, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
- Send text, email, or social media messages that contain personal information.