Social Security fraud occurs any time someone uses deceit or other malicious means to collect Social Security funds to which they are not entitled. One way to prevent this kind of fraud is to report it to the appropriate authorities.
How big a problem is Social Security fraud?
The Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible for obtaining complaints about Social Security fraud, receives almost 18,000 fraud reports annually, resulting in over 46 million dollars in losses.
What are some types of Social Security fraud?
There are many types of Social Security fraud, including:
- Providing false information to obtain benefits
- Concealing information that may affect benefits
- Impersonating a Social Security staff member to obtain information
- Stealing Social Security cards or numbers and selling them
- Continuing to receive benefits for someone who has died
- Obtaining information as a Social Security employee and selling it to others
- Failing to report suspected Social Security fraud
- Using a Social Security number under false pretenses
How do you report Social Security fraud?
The easiest way to report Social Security fraud is to use the form on the Social Security website. You can also write a letter to the Social Security Fraud Hotline in Baltimore, Maryland. People wanting to report fraud can also call 1-800-269-0271, or if you are hard of hearing, you can text 1-866-501-2101. Finally, you can fax information to 1-866-501-2101.
Can government officials charge you with a felony for committing Social Security fraud?
Federal statutes make committing Social Security fraud a federal felony. Criminally, a judge can fine a person up to $250,000 and sentence them to spend up to five years in prison. Additionally, they may face civil penalties.
Social Security fraud is a severe problem, and everyone needs to do their part to protect these valuable funds.