Retirement & Financial Planning Report

The Social Security Administration and its inspector general’s office have issued a new warning about scam phone calls purporting to be from the agency.

According to an announcement, in one case, an automated recording states the person’s Social Security number has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity, and the person should contact a provided phone number immediately to resolve the issue. “The call concludes by stating if the person does not contact the provided phone number, the person’s assets will be frozen until the alleged issue is resolved,” it said.

In another case, it said, a caller claims to be from SSA headquarters and waits for the person to provide personal information, such as their SSN, address, and date of birth.

Said the warning: “SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen confirm personal information over the phone. If a person receives a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, citizens should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via https://oig.ssa.gov/report,” it said.

The warning is the latest in a series from federal agencies about impersonation scams. They most commonly purport to be from the IRS but the SSA earlier this year reported an increase in calls purporting to be from that agency, and afterward warned about a scam linked to the issuance of new Medicare cards.