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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are questions that individuals frequently ask when they contact our office:

Image: Question Mark Icon 1. What if I can't reach anyone at the Fraud Hotline between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (EST)?

You can report Social Security program fraud directly to any Social Security office, including representatives at the Social Security Administration's (SSA) toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. SSA employees can take your information and send it directly to our office, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations. You can also report fraud to us by U.S. mail, fax, or through the Internet using our Fraud Reporting Form. Refer to Report Fraud to the Hotline for more information.


Image: Question Mark Icon 2. My Representative Payee is misusing my benefits. What should I do?

Refer to Representative Payee Misuse.


Image: Question Mark Icon 3. What should I do if my wallet containing my Social Security Card is lost or stolen?

Our office does not investigate the loss or theft of personal property including wallets and purses containing personal identification. If your wallet or purse containing your Social Security Card is stolen, contact your local police department immediately to file a theft report. You should also contact the Social Security Administration directly at:

  • 1-800-772-1213 to request a replacement Social Security Card.

Refer to How to Apply for a Social Security Card.


Image: Question Mark Icon 4. Someone is using my SSN. What can I do to protect myself?

Refer to the following information regarding Identity Theft.


Image: Question Mark Icon 5. Can the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General place a fraud alert on my Social Security Number?

No, we cannot place a fraud alert on your Social Security number. If you discover that you are an identity theft victim, you should read the following information regarding Identity Theft.


Image: Question Mark Icon 6. Who should I contact if someone used my Social Security Number to obtain credit?

If you believe that someone else has used your Social Security Number to obtain credit, refer to the following information regarding Identity Theft.


Image: Question Mark Icon 7. I'm having problems with my Federal tax returns and it involves the misuse of my Social Security Number. What should I do to get it resolved?

Problems with Federal tax returns must be resolved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This includes the misuse of a Social Security Number on a tax return. The IRS provides a toll free number to assist with questions related to tax problems. The toll-free number is:

  • 1-800-829-1040.

If someone incorrectly listed your Social Security Number or your child's Social Security Number on their tax return, or if the IRS has notified you that your refund cannot be processed because someone else has already used your Social Security Number on their tax return, you should contact the IRS at the number listed above.


Image: Question Mark Icon 8. What information is needed to file a fraud complaint?

We need as much identifying information as you can provide, which includes the name, address and Social Security number (or date of birth, approximate age, mother's or father's name if the Social Security Number is not available) of the person whom you are reporting. If you are reporting concealed work activity, the following information is helpful - the name of the employer, employer's address and phone number, and when you think the work activity began. For more information, please visit the "What Do I Need To Know When Contacting the Hotline" section of this website.


Image: Question Mark Icon 9. Can I get the status report of my fraud complaint?

The Hotline cannot provide status reports or any information regarding the disposition of your allegation. The information you provide will be processed according to our guidelines and appropriate action will be taken. We ask that you do not call the Hotline with requests for status as in most instances, Federal law enforcement records cannot be disclosed to third parties, even if the third party is the individual making the allegation. For information on the laws governing access to these and other Social Security Administration records, please visit


Image: Question Mark Icon 10. Why does it take so long before I can speak to a live person when I call the Hotline?

Due to the high volume of calls, we have provided individuals with alternative ways to contact us. Refer to our section on how to Report Fraud to the Hotline for more information.


Image: Question Mark Icon 11. What if I am dissatisfied with a decision I received from Social Security regarding my claim?

Our office is legally barred from interfering in the administration or adjudication of your Social Security claim. We are also prohibited from interceding on your behalf in any step of the adjudicative process. The fact that your claim has been denied is not the basis for an OIG investigation. If you believe that SSA did not properly consider all of the facts in your claim, you should avail yourself of the procedural steps for reconsideration and appeal. Refer to The Appeals Process webpage for more information.


Image: Question Mark Icon 12. Someone may be using my Social Security Number for work purposes. What should I do?

You can determine if someone is using your Social Security number for work purposes by completing a request for a Social Security Statement (Form 7004). Your Social Security Statement contains a record of the earnings on which you have paid Social Security taxes during your working years. It also provides a summary of the estimated benefits you and your family may receive as a result of those earnings. You can request this form by contacting the Social Security toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or visiting your local Social Security office. After you complete this form and return it to Social Security, you can expect to receive your statement in 4 to 6 weeks. If you find that earnings have been posted to your record that do not belong to you, re-contact Social Security or visit your local Social Security office to have the earnings removed.


Image: Question Mark Icon 13. I have worked for the same company for many years. I was told by my company that Social Security and other withholding taxes were submitted to the Internal Revenue Service. However, I have since discovered that my company has not reported my wages. What should I do?

If you have received a W-2 statement from your employer and it does not reflect withholdings, you should contact Social Security directly at 1-800-772-1213 and provide them with the information that is reflected on your W-2 statement. You may also take your W-2 statement to your local Social Security office to get the information corrected.

If you do not have a W-2 statement and you are concerned that your employer is improperly withholding or failing to withhold Social Security, Federal income or employment taxes, you should report this matter directly to the Internal Revenue Service at its toll-free number of 1-800-829-1040. Employers may be subject to criminal sanctions for willfully failing to pay employment taxes. For further information, visit their website at


Image: Question Mark Icon 14. How do I report suspected illegal aliens or suspected illegal immigration activity?

Reports of illegal aliens or suspected illegal immigration activity should be reported to the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Hotline; their toll-free number is:

  • 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423).


Image: Question Mark Icon 15. Where can I find information on SSA/OIG's Fugitive Felon Program?

Law enforcement agencies can help SSA by sharing information about fugitive felons, parole violators, and probation violators with SSA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Please visit our Fugitive Felon Program home page for more information.

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  Last reviewed or modified Thursday Feb 28, 2008