Social Security Fraud Hotline
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, Maryland 21235
1-800-269-0271 from 10:00 a.m.
to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
1-866-501-2101 for the deaf
or hard of hearing.
What is the Fraud Hotline?
The Social Security Administration (SSA)
Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Fraud Hotline provides
an avenue for individuals to report fraud, waste, and abuse
within the SSA’s programs and operations. We handle allegations
regarding violations of law or regulations affecting SSA
programs and operations.
What Should You Report to the Fraud Hotline?
There are a variety of situations that
may be considered fraud in our SSA programs. Some examples
Receives Social Security Benefits
for a Child Not under their care.
Continues to Receive and Use Benefits
Belonging to a Deceased Person.
Conceals their Marriage or Assets from
SSA While Receiving Disability Benefits.
Resides Overseas and is Receiving Disability
Below are several examples of potential
violations that affect Social Security programs or operations.
You can click on each topic below to learn more.
The Fraud Hotline cannot assist individuals with questions
about their Social Security account, requests for new or
replacement Social Security number (SSN) cards, or issues
involving the granting or denial of benefits. These issues
can be addressed by:
The use of your Social Security number
by someone else to obtain credit, loans, telephone accounts,
or other goods and services should be reported to the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC collects complaints about
identity theft from those whose identities have been stolen.
Although the FTC does not have the authority to bring criminal
cases, the FTC can help victims of identity theft by providing
information to assist them in resolving the financial and
other problems that can result from this crime. The FTC
puts your information into a secure consumer fraud database
and may, in appropriate instances, share it with other law
enforcement agencies and private entities, including any
companies about which you may complain. You can reach the
FTC directly by:
Calling toll-free at 1-877-IDTHEFT
The Social Security Administration cannot
fix your credit record if someone has misused your Social
Security number (SSN) to obtain credit. To resolve your
credit problems, you need to contact the institution that
authorized the credit and/or issued the credit card, as
well as the major credit reporting agencies. Obtain a copy
of your credit report and ask that an alert be placed on
your credit record requiring that you be contacted before
credit is extended using your name and SSN. The three major
credit reporting agencies are
Equifax — 1-800-525-6285
Trans Union — 1-800-680-7289
Experian — 1-888-397-3742
Work with each credit bureau, creditor,
employer and government agency involved to remove inaccurate
information from your records. You should continue checking
your credit report annually for inaccuracies. Keep copies
of your correspondence, records of your telephone calls
and other documents verifying your efforts to correct the
Under certain circumstances, SSA may assign you a new SSN
if, after making all efforts to resolve the problems caused
by someone else's misuse of your SSN, you are still being
disadvantaged by the misuse. There is no guarantee that
a new number will resolve your problem.
A new SSN will NOT be assigned to you if you
Are trying to avoid the law or your
Intend to avoid disclosure of a poor
credit or criminal record when you are at fault.
Have no proof that someone else caused
Have lost your Social Security card
or it was stolen but there is no evidence that your SSN
is being misused and you are being disadvantaged.
If you can document that you are being disadvantaged because
of the misuse of your SSN, visit your local SSA field office
to request a new SSN, or contact SSA directly at:
SSA is the only agency authorized to issue a SSN and if
you are eligible no fee is charged. Any private concern
that offers to obtain a new SSN for a fee is most likely
bogus and will provide no real service. In addition, the
number they supply may be fraudulent and your use of such
a number could constitute a crime.
The Federal government and numerous states have passed
laws prohibiting identity theft. Anyone who intentionally
uses the Social Security number of another person to establish
a new identity or defraud the government is breaking the
To get more information about Social Security numbers and
identity theft, download the following publications
What Do I Need to Know When Contacting the Hotline?
The information you provide to us is very
important and we encourage you to provide details about
your complaint. To act on your allegation, we need you to
provide as much identifying information as possible regarding
the suspect, victim, and the details of what occurred. The
more you can tell us, the better chance we have of determining
whether a crime has been committed. Your information should
include the following:
Who committed the Fraud? (Include Suspect
Name, SSN, Date of Birth, Address, and Telephone Number)
Who the Victims are? (Include Victim
Name, SSN, Date of Birth, Address, and
What exactly did the suspect do?
Where did the fraud take place?
When did it happen?
How was the Fraud committed?
Do you know why the person committed
Who else has knowledge of the potential
May I Remain Anonymous?
Yes. Please keep in mind that, if you
choose to remain anonymous, our inability to contact you
may limit our ability to conduct a complete investigation.
Will My Identity Remain Confidential?
In some instances, informants may believe
that the disclosure of their identities may create problems
or place them in danger. We will protect the identity of
complainants to the maximum extent allowed by law and only
release your identity to those officials who have a need
to know. Specifically, Section 7(b) of the Inspector General
Act of 1978 precludes the IG from disclosing the identity
of a Social Security employee who reports an allegation
or provides information, without the employee's consent,
unless the IG determines that disclosure is unavoidable
during the course of the investigation. Non-SSA employees
who report allegations may also request confidentiality.
What Can I Expect if I Make A Report to the Hotline?
We are very interested in the information
you have regarding fraud in SSA programs. If you send us
your complaint by US mail or fax, we will send you an acknowledgement
letter if you have provided us with your mailing address.
If you send us an allegation by email, an acknowledgement
will be sent automatically to the email address you provide
to us on your complaint. However, we cannot provide information
regarding what action we have taken on any allegation reported
to our office. Federal regulations prohibit the disclosure
of information contained in law enforcement records even
to the individual making the allegation. Unless you are
contacted directly by one of our investigators, there will
be no further communication from our office. Under no circumstances
will we provide you with the "status" of action
taken on the allegation.
If you are an SSA employee, SSA may not take action against
you solely because of your submission of an allegation to
the SSA OIG hotline. Federal laws protect employees from
reprisals by their employers for "blowing the whistle"
on illegal activity.
Privacy Act Notice
Our authority to request information concerning fraud,
waste and abuse in connection with the programs and operations
of SSA is found in the Inspector General Act of 1978, as
amended, 5 U.S.C. App. 3, sec. 4.
Information that you submit will be used principally for
investigations into fraud, waste, and abuse in connection
with the programs and operations of the SSA. This includes
benefits fraud, fraud in connection with obtaining a Social
Security number (SSN), identity theft involving misuse of
an SSN, and all other possible criminal and civil violations
of the Social Security Act.
Your submission is voluntary. There is no penalty for failing
to report a possible violation. However, you may be subject
to possible criminal or civil penalties for reporting false
information to SSA, in some instances. You should report
the truth as you know it.
We may make disclosures of information you submit to others,
including other Federal and State law enforcement agencies,
as necessary to complete our investigation, or as required
under Federal law. We may refer your allegation to the appropriate
law enforcement agency if we believe you have alleged a
criminal or civil violation properly within their jurisdiction.
We will refer all allegations of identity theft to the Federal
Trade Commission. We may refer your allegation to the SSA
if we believe your allegation may be addressed through administrative
action, for instance, if you allege a simple mistake in
the computation of your benefit amount. A complete list
of the permissible disclosures we may make of allegations
and investigative information may be found in the Federal
Register at 60 Fed. Reg. 19619 (April 19, 1995).