New scam targets Social Security recipients

PHOENIX – The Inspector General of the Social Security Administration is warming that a new scam is taking place.

Social Security recipients are being sent letters stating that Social Security benefits will be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic unless this beneficiary calls a phone number listed in the letter.

The Inspector General said that no benefits are being suspended, increased or decreased due to the pandemic.

According to the Inspector General, the Social Security Administration will never:

* Threaten benefit suspension, arrest or other legal action unless one pays 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;

* Demand secrecy in the handling of a Social Security-related problem;

* Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via e-mail.

Those who receive a letter, phone call, text or e-mail requesting any payment in exchange for benefits should disengage and notify the Social Security Administration of the attempted scam by calling 1-800-269-0271 or online at