Social Security Administration and Its Inspector General Announce New Online Reporting Form for Imposter Scam Calls

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon has passed on the latest news release from the Social Security Administration and Its Inspector General about a new online reporting method to address imposter scams:

Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, and Gail S. Ennis, the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, announce the launch of a dedicated online form at https://oig.ssa.gov to receive reports from the public of Social Security-related scams.  These scams—in which fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems—skyrocketed over the past year to become the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration.

Social Security Administration and Its Inspector General Announce New Online Reporting Form for Imposter Scam Calls

To combat these scams, Social Security and the OIG will use the new online form to capture data that will be analyzed for trends and commonalities.  The OIG will use the data to identify investigative leads, which could help identify criminal entities or individuals participating in or facilitating the scams.  Ultimately, these efforts are expected to disrupt the scammers, help reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims.

“We are taking action to raise awareness and prevent scammers from harming Americans,” Commissioner Saul said.  “I am deeply troubled that our country has not been able to stop these crooks from deceiving some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”

Commissioner Saul and Inspector General Ennis encourage the public to use the new online form to report Social Security phone scams including robocalls and live callers, as well as email, text, and in-person scams.  The form allows people to create a unique Personal Identification Number (PIN), so if OIG contacts a person about their report, they will know the call is legitimate.

“Awareness is our best hope to thwart the scammers,” said Inspector General Ennis. “Tell your friends and family about them and report them to us when you receive them, but most importantly, just hang up and ignore the calls.”

Social Security employees do occasionally contact people–generally those who have ongoing business with the agency–by telephone for business purposes.  However, Social Security employees will never threaten a person, or promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.  In those cases, the call is fraudulent and people should just hang up.

Generally, the agency mainly calls people who have recently applied for a Social Security benefit, someone who is already receiving payments and requires an update to their record, or a person who has requested a phone call from the agency.  If a person is not in one of these situations, they normally would not receive a call from the agency.

Social Security will not:

  • Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended.
  • Contact you to demand an immediate payment.
  • Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash.
  • Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.
  • Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.

If there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, in most cases Social Security will mail a letter.  If a person needs to submit payments to Social Security, the agency will send a letter with instructions and payment options.  People should never provide information or payment over the phone or Internet unless they are certain of who is receiving it.

The Social Security OIG will also continue to take reports of fraud, waste, and abuse in Social Security’s programs and operations.  A separate online form for those reports remains available at their website.

Six New Morris County Sheriff’s Officers Take The Oath Of Office To Start Their Duties In The Bureau of Law Enforcement

Six new Morris County Sheriff’s Officers who graduated November 27th from Basic Police Training Class were sworn in to their positions Monday by Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon.

From left, newly-sworn Morris County Sheriff's Officers Anthony Walsh, Chelsea Whiting, Jennifer Powers, Sheriff James M. Gannon, Travis Dean, Haider Asif, and Stephen Nowatkowski.  They took the oath of office to start their jobs on December 2, 2019.
From left, newly-sworn Morris County Sheriff’s Officers Anthony Walsh, Chelsea Whiting, Jennifer Powers, Sheriff James M. Gannon, Travis Dean, Haider Asif, and Stephen Nowatkowski. They took the oath of office to start their jobs on December 2, 2019.

The 77th Sheriff of Morris County, Sheriff Gannon gave the Officers a historical summary of the Agency and the Morris County Courthouse that was built in 1827 in Morristown. He also assured the Officers they have his and the entire Agency’s full support and asked that they stay vigilant in their duty to protect the Courthouse and Morris County Administration and Records building.

Sheriff Gannon noted the diverse backgrounds of the new Officers, who include several with military training and an Officer who emigrated to this country with his family from Pakistan.

The new Officers, who all will start their duties in the Protective Services Division of the Sheriff’s Office Bureau of Law Enforcement, are: Haider Asif, Travis Dean, Stephen Nowatkowski, Jennifer Powers, Anthony Walsh and Chelsea Whiting.

Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon addresses six new Officers before he administered them the oath of office for their new positions.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon addresses six new Officers before he administered them the oath of office for their new positions.

Sheriff Gannon administered the oath of office in the Morris County Courthouse’s Historic Courtroom; afterwards, Chief Kelley Zienowicz pinned the badges on each new Officer.

“You definitely have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people.  It’s nice to have diversity in the ranks.  We’re pretty good statistically but we’re always trying to do better, to emulate what the community needs and what the community looks like.  It’s not only about diversity, it’s about inclusion. And we work very hard on that. We have a duty to protect all the people in Morris County,” Sheriff Gannon said.

Sheriff’s Officers have two roles, he said. That of warriors, trained to protect and defend, but also as guardians of people who are vulnerable or need compassionate attention while struggling with a substance use disorder. Modern policing has evolved to include a focus on helping substance users conquer their addiction while still arresting and apprehending the dealers, he said.

Half of more than 3,200 inmates that pass through the Morris County Correctional Facility annually have substance use disorders, the Sheriff said.

“Take care of people less fortunate than yourself,” the Sheriff requested.

“Be prepared on that warrior side.  You’re trained for that. But I want you to show that guardian side. There’s people coming through the doors of this courthouse that you’re assigned to protect through the Protective Services Division. Not too many good stories behind coming to the courthouse. Maybe adoption,” Sheriff Gannon said.

“It’s a highly emotionally-charged environment here. So be on your guard and your head on a swivel. But extend a hand to people. Say good morning. Welcome them. Ask how you can help. You may be the only person they have right then and you can make an impact,” the Sheriff said.