By Guest Contributor

Throughout the year, AgeWell educates older adults about scams and provides the education and tools needed to prevent additional victims. This month, on National Slam the Scam Day, we share the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) tips for keeping your money and personal information safe. Slam the scam!

Known Tactics Scammers Use:

Scammers frequently change their approach with new tactics and messages to trick people. We encourage you to stay up-to-date on the latest news and advisories by following SSA OIG (Office of the Inspector General) on LinkedIn, X, and Facebook or by subscribing to receive email alerts.

These are red flags; you can trust that Social Security will never

  • Threaten you with arrest or legal action because you don’t agree to pay money immediately.
  • Suspend your Social Security number.
  • Claim to need personal information or payment to activate a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) or other benefit increase.
  • Pressure you to take immediate action, including sharing personal information.
  • Ask you to pay with gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or by mailing cash.
  • Threaten to seize your bank account.
  • Offer to move your money to a “protected” bank account.
  • Demand secrecy.
  • Direct message you on social media.

Be skeptical and look for red flags. If you receive a suspicious call, text message, email, letter, or message on social media, the caller or sender may not be who they say they are. Scammers have also been known to:

  • Use legitimate names of Office of the Inspector General or Social Security Administration employees.
  • “Spoof” official government phone numbers, or even numbers for local police departments.
  • Send official-looking documents by U.S. mail or attachments through email, text, or social media messages.

Fraudsters create imposter social media pages and accounts using Social Security-related images and jargon. This helps them appear to be associated with or endorsed by Social Security. The imposter pages could be for the agency or Social Security and OIG officials. The user is asked to send their financial information, Social Security number, or other sensitive information. Social Security will never ask for sensitive information through social media as these channels are not secure.

Here are some ways to spot an imposter page:

  • Number of followers.
  • Incorrect punctuation or spelling.
  • Links to pages not on
  • Advertisements for forms or other SSA documents.
  • Incorrect social media handle To view the list of Social Security’s official social media channels, we encourage you to visit

It is illegal to reproduce federal employee credentials and federal law enforcement badges. Federal law enforcement will never send photographs of credentials or badges to demand any kind of payment, and neither will federal government employees. 

Ignore scammers and report criminal behavior. Report Social Security-related scams to the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at

Source: and AgeWell Middle Tennessee