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Earlier this month, we told you about a growing scam: people pretend to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, we heard from 3,200 people about SSA imposter scams, and those people reported losing nearly $210,000. So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us they’ve lost $10 million.

Here’s what one of those scam calls sound like:

Scammers are saying your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he’ll say your bank account is about to be seized – but he’ll tell you what to do to keep it safe. (Often, that involves putting your money on gift cards and giving him the codes – which, of course, means that your money is gone.)

Oh, and your caller ID often shows the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) when these scammers call – but they’re faking that number. It’s not the real SSA calling.

Here's what to know:

  • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
  • SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.
  • The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If you’re worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.
  • Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account or credit card number.

If you get one of these calls, tell the FTC at

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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July 30, 2020

In reply to by ale

I received 20 calls today from the same scammers. Its a joke and can tell its from india by "Kindly". I blocked one of the numbers, but shortly after it adjusted and started calling from another number. I can't believe this actually works. Wished we could do something about it. Wireless companies need provide tools for free to fix this issue. Instead, they usually to sell you something to fix it. The first call is from Pennsylvania 717-216-0292 and from 1-570-209-9376. Not sure how they're getting legit numbers from in US. Seems like they would at least spread the calls out. Calling every 10 minutes is also a sign that something isn't right. Please never give your personal information to someone you don't know. The scam will end once the money dries up.
Kathy from was…
July 23, 2019

In reply to by Pat from hawaii

I also just received a call from an automated message saying that my social security number had been compromised and to avoid arrest and ending up in court to call this number 1-518-673-7063 I knew it was a scam my daughter got the same message two months ago thank god we knew that it was a scam.
Jay from Vegas
August 05, 2019

In reply to by Pat from hawaii

I just got a call from Cadillac Michigan saying the same security number under investigation and I will get arrested blah blah blah ..,first off it’s 6:30am , I’m half sleep...I felt like it was a scam but I called the number back..the guy sounded Asian and asked for my full name and full ss# ..I asked why did I get this call and he said he needed that info first to pull up my records ...I said no thank you and rolled back over on my pillow lol! I group text my family later on to protect them so thanks everyone for posting your story.
August 14, 2019

In reply to by Pat from hawaii

I just got a call similar saying my social is involved in fruad and to call back before they take legal action. The call came from texas.
October 02, 2019

In reply to by Pat from hawaii

This is the exact call I got today, from a Maryland area code. Thry left a VM that stated there is legal action being taken against me for a crime I have committed based on my SSN and I must respond immediately. I never answer my phone for unknown numbers.
May 15, 2019

In reply to by Maria

I got a call yesterday May 14th, 2019 from that number saying that my social security number is suspended to click 1 to find out. When I clicked the number 1 some Indian lady answered asking for my address and zip code then asked for my middle initial and said she'd call back. Then I looked this up and everyone is saying it is a scam. I got this call out of no where as well.
Lisa from Idaho
July 29, 2019

In reply to by T

I received this message today. Did not press 1. Worried as this just started when I check my info in Equifax website since my number was one affected in breach. I hope that was not a scam also (Equifax website).
May 16, 2019

In reply to by Maria

This just happened to me as well, it was 718 717 2890. He sounded like he was from India as well. I had received a call and missed it and so there was a voicemail saying something about suspicious activity on my social and legal actions being taken against me. I called back and he wanted me to verify information with him and promised me it was safe because the call was secured with the FBI. I just hung up. I didn't trust him. Wow.
May 18, 2019

In reply to by Julie

I received the same call today from this number 1(281)2130074 cypress tx they tell me threats as you are going to have consequences and press the number 1 to talk to someone and I just hang up the call
July 18, 2019

In reply to by Godi

Got the same call from 513-296-2520 suspected it immediately. do not respond !
May 18, 2019

In reply to by Julie

I received the same call today from this number 1(281)2130074 cypress tx they tell me threats as you are going to have consequences and press the number 1 to talk to someone and I just hang up the call
July 16, 2019

In reply to by Godi

Just the call 366 931 7075 caller ID says US government. My SS # has been suspended because I have suspicions actively
June 25, 2019

In reply to by Maria

Yesterday I got same call and I gave my last 4 digit SSN. I am also thinking they from India because of their pronounciation. I am very worry about that issue.
July 21, 2019

In reply to by Tanaz

I did the same thing and hope you continued to research because your comment is dated. All they need is the last four. File a complaint with the FDC. First, though, learn how to freeze pissible credit checks with Experian, TransUnion and the other credit reporting bureau to prevent them from opening credit cards in your name. Everything you need to know is on the web and much of it is on this site.
July 01, 2019

In reply to by Maria

Thank you for posting your comment. I just had the same call. I told them I would have to talk later. I blocked the number.
July 09, 2019

In reply to by Maria

This exact call happened to me. I gave them the last 4 digits of my social security number. I'm so afraid they will be able to use my information. I don't know what to do?
September 09, 2019

In reply to by Liliy

Did anything happen after you gave them your four digits? I did the same. So dumb.
October 01, 2019

In reply to by Tae

I got the same phone call earlier today. I gave them my last 4 also. I will report it to the SSA and hoping I’m not a victim.
Maria Lewis
July 09, 2019

In reply to by Maria

I recieved the same call 7-08/7-09-19.. same thing with my social, yesterday when I told him I had no money in my bank account he hung up. He did sound like he was from India claimed his name was Rick Smith and gave me a "badge" number. Today I just hung up when I heard the same recording
dont call them back
September 10, 2019

In reply to by Maria Lewis

I received same call yesterday once, and today twice. Numbers calling are 800-045-6745 / 800-334.7705 and 800-501-2700 same call.. Ss benefits and ss number been cancel permanently unless i call.. Of course i did not call. I do have voice mails saved.
July 15, 2019

In reply to by Maria

Same exact thing here, but different number. Indian accent, same scam.
July 19, 2019

In reply to by Maria

I got a call from Texas as well saying my social security number was being investigated for fraudulent activities and when I called back it defiantly sounds like a man from India I wouldn’t give him any of my information he told me I could go to my near by office to see if was real
October 18, 2019

In reply to by ttsmom0229

Is this the number that called you? +1 (469) 388-0881?
September 04, 2019

In reply to by Maria

I received a call from 205-679-0413, same thing....SS# compromised ......scam
Dont play
June 03, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

I own a business that advertises on the internet. I get more than my fair share of scam calls. On a daily basis I get more than ten. The SSN scam is a poor quality attempt. This starts with this line ( Your social security number is -SUSPEND- not suspended. Don' be the victim. No one calls you out of the blue to give you money. They don't send random emails either. You get free money by working your back side off for it. We do not live in a nice world so keep your eyes and ears open and you're guard up. As hard as you are working to make it someone is working that hard to steal it from you.
June 26, 2019

In reply to by Dont play

1 (281) 492-4831 Houston, Texas. I didn't recognize the number so let it go to voicemail. It is a robotic sounding recording. And it also said SUSPEND-not suspended. I received my first social security deposit only 7 days ago. Suspending my SS number just didn't make sense to me. It's not like having a credit card account suspended. And Houston doesn't make sense either. Glad I found this site.
June 04, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

Oh Sheila, i feel horrible for you. These scamsters prey on people who they sense are vulnerable. I have older friends who have been scammed and its almost impossible to get the money back. The credit card maybe. But these scamsters are in other countries, and they're nearly impossible to trace. They don't keep your money in american bank accounts so the us government has very little way to get it back from them. Its horrible. Hope you can lift yourself from this and rebuild. You have your kids and your health.
June 27, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

I have had several calls thank god i didnt fall for it also today a few minutes ago i get a call from a private number saying it was social security and that there has been fraud on my account amd they've issued a warrant for my arrest Lol this time i have no number or nothing please guys DO NOT FALL FOR THIS EVER ITS ALL A SCAM TO TAKE YOUR MONEY...
July 06, 2019

In reply to by Blockerfamily3

I received the same phone call which was telling that you ssn no is used for some illegal activities and unfortunately I gave my last SSN i am worried about it, is there any one to tell me what to do after given last four ssn
Concerned consumer
June 27, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

Your bank should protect you by reversing the funds.
July 09, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

My friend just came over upset because these same people called her. What I thought was interesting is a lot of these stories are from Women who have lost their husbands in the past couple of years.
September 05, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

Why can’t you stop this. Is nobody watching the till or able to trace money that was spammed out of people
September 25, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

Ms. Gomez, I am in total agreement with you. Hope there's someone who can come up with the right answer.
October 22, 2019

In reply to by jviera11373

Just got a call from a 802-232-3062, heavy accent, told me my phone was cutting up. I told them they were a scam and I would be reporting this.
December 27, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

This is REALLY Sad & I’m sad this happened to you... They Always go for people who are older or sick... NEVER NEVER NEVER give anyone your personal information ... It’s PERSONAL for a reason.... If it is the Social Security asking you there is already something wrong.... I have gotten calls about my credit card... I play with them just as they Try to play me... Then THEY hang up on me too funny... Never Give Your Information...
January 23, 2020

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

If anyone is tempted by a call, hang up and contact anyone at some level of authority. Call city hall. Call the public library. Just do not agree to this. I do not understand how anyone turns money over to these mystery parties, but also do not understand why the perpetrators cannot be tracked down. A little while ago, I received the same scam call. It was a robocall. I was told to press 1 for more information. I did not.
October 14, 2020

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

I do not understand why any one got scammed. i get the calls all the time and hang up. SS will never call you for this, they will send by mail. also before you give ant money to any one, find out if it is real. do not use the people calling go to the agency themselves. Use you brain and think about it/ verify
Rob V
December 27, 2018
Outstanding - please continue to add more of these ! Keep up the good work FTC !
December 29, 2018

In reply to by Rob V

Usually if its legit anything government related they send something by mail and won't call.
February 16, 2019

In reply to by Tiredoffakecalls54

I called social security cause they had once told me they wouldn't ask me for my social security number. Also I did call the number back and the person had a accent and I just hung up. Now I just received another secret shopper scam. What's wrong theses days.
Got a call
March 19, 2019

In reply to by Valerie45w

Recently received a phone call and they told me that my social security number is about to be suspended. The number is 1 866 208 3523 ! Be aware people. The lady sounded robotic and asked me if i wanted to speask to an agent to press 1. But i simply hung up.
March 23, 2019

In reply to by Got a call

Yeah I called the number back the number was 347-809-3380, when they answered I heard a bunch of noise of a bunch of people having conversations over the phone with other people, so I pretended like I was worried and asked him well what is my Social Security he read off some random number that wasn't mine and I just hung up I said wow these fools ,at any rate that is one of the number they call from up above , I feel it's better to post what the numbers they're calling from so that other people will know.