Other Commonly Asked Questions on Coronavirus // Fraud Scams

March 26, 2020

I received a letter saying my Social Security benefits will be suspended due to COVID-19 related office closures.  What do I do?

The SSA Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19-related office closures.  Learn more here.

The SSA will never:

  • threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you 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;
  • demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem; or
  • send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If you receive a letter, text, call or email that you believe to be suspicious, about an alleged problem with your Social Security number, account, or payments, hang up or do not respond.  You can report Social Security scams using the SSA’s dedicated online form.

 

Someone called me from Medicare and told me I could get tested for COVID-19 if I gave them personal information.  What should I do?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services are alerting the public about fraud schemes related to COVID-19. Scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. Learn more here and here.

If someone calls you on the phone, saying they’re from Medicare, and asks for your Medicare number or other personal information – just hang up.

Our representatives will never:

  • Call beneficiaries to ask for or to “verify” Medicare numbers.
  • Call to sell you anything.
  • Promise you things if you give them a Medicare number.
  • Visit you at your home.
  • Call you to enroll you in a Medicare program over the phone, unless you called us first.

Other ways to protect yourself:

  • Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare or Medicaid numbers.
  • Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites.
  • A physician or other trusted healthcare provider should assess your condition and approve any requests for COVID-19 testing.
  • If you suspect COVID-19 fraud, contact National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline (866) 720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov.

 

CLICK HERE for more information on new online tools to learn and report COVID-19 relief check scams.

(Updated 4/7)