The Social Security Administration (SSA) has released new information about a new scam affecting citizens around the country.
Social Security Inspector General Gail S. Ennis is warning people that scammers are attempting to extort money from victims by sending fake documents by email to coerce victims into compliance.
According to Ennis, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has received numerous reports about this new scam. Ennis states that scammers will try to threaten their victims by claiming that they could face arrest or other legal action if they did not comply with their demands.
Victims may also be coerced by the scammer when they promise the victim that they will receive a benefit increase if they do as they are told.
According to a release from OIG, 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.
The goal of the scammers is often to get a victim to wire them money in the form of prepaid debit cards, gift cards or cryptocurrency. This is popular among scammers because these forms of payment are difficult to track or recover.
Victims are encouraged to report these scams to OIG online by logging on to oig.ssa.gov.