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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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February 19, 2020

In reply to by scammer

I got a call today from 9795572012 area code Baycity, TX. Same message I just blocked the number.
Don't use your…
February 03, 2020

In reply to by misi

Same thing happened to me on friday and just this morning. They are using an 863 area code now. Smh ssa needs to do something about this.
July 24, 2020

In reply to by misi

i literally just received the exact same call w exact info sopposid "officer mark lewis" told me...scary thing is i used to live in texas so i was horrified "
Chris 18
November 08, 2019

In reply to by Eric the first…

I just got the exact same call saying the exact same thing. They've called 4 times in 6 hours
December 13, 2019

In reply to by Eric the first…

I received a similar call like that this morning, from the following number: 443.227.5969.
January 16, 2020

In reply to by jennifer

They called saying my ssn has shown fraudulent activity and an warrant has been issued, they are calling from 512-649-3268/ the numbers start with 512 and also they give a bogus name along with a so-call ID number as if its legit
February 12, 2020

In reply to by Jas6bourn23

Robotic call received twice today ‭1 20289800466‬ Washington DC
June 30, 2021

In reply to by Ben

I got also same scam call, about a warrant being issued for fraudulent activity, first time from +1 680 778 1133, second time, from +1 636 259 1028.
August 17, 2020

In reply to by Jas6bourn23

just got that one just now. Called the number back expecting nothing, but some lady answered saying social security fraud division..i just hung up. #254-308-0619.
Jennifer S.
January 24, 2020

In reply to by Eric the first…

When people say your SSN has been used in a crime, do they tell you the SSN or use your name? The call I got today said that my SSN had been suspended, but they never mentioned the actual number or who they thought I was. And the call started with "Dear Citizen". So they wouldn't have had to know anything at all before calling, unless I responded and told them my information. Maybe the crime version is different, though.
T. Thomas
January 27, 2020

In reply to by Jennifer S.

I got two messages from two different numbers today saying the same thing. They are blocked and reported as spam.
February 04, 2020

In reply to by T. Thomas

Got the same yesterday and today. Different numbers same msg. The funniest thing is that I live in Quebec, Canada and easy for me to know if its a scam; if it be true, the msg would be in french. Lol
February 10, 2020

In reply to by Eric the first…

Same thing today i was damn near ready to Kill myself over this type if call today
Don't use your…
December 12, 2019

In reply to by Belleville

I pressedone got someone to answer told them come ge t me I need the vacation click lol
January 23, 2020

In reply to by Johnny

Amen to that! How about that! Why can't we use our taxpayer-funded CIA to find out who these scammers are or where these calls are coming from?
June 30, 2020

In reply to by Johnny

I got calls from this #908 425 8785 that claimed to be the federal government, when I called back I was hung up on twice the 3rd time a woman answered and was very nasty with me when I explained why I was calling.Something isn't right.
Always Wary
July 30, 2020

In reply to by BEE

I would bet that the number was spoofed. They simply made up a number that belonged to an actual innocent person.
dstovallDon't …
September 05, 2020

In reply to by Johnny

You are so right. Surely these people can be found, it just takes too much effort. If someone evades paying their taxes, you better believe they'd find them even if they were in Siberia!
November 11, 2020

In reply to by Johnny

You do know that SSA and the US government has been working with international authorities and raiding then shutting these scam centers down, right?
September 25, 2019

In reply to by “Lovly” is com…

You say that the FTC are doing their job but you don't provide any information to back that up.
November 13, 2019

In reply to by jviera11373

I got the same message and also had this message a few months ago. I reported it to SSA. They called me today every 15 mins all day long. I have numbers not in my contact list blocked and they can only leave a message. I am keeping these messages in case they are needed.
April 13, 2021

In reply to by “Lovly” is com…

I keep getting scam calls from them 4 to 5 times a day
August 29, 2019

In reply to by Lovly2008

Its impossible or nearly impossible to catch these people...most are overseas and laws in their countries protect them. We have to be vigilant and never send money. Don't count on other people to protect you...the best thing you can do is protect yourself.
September 04, 2019

In reply to by KBE

Now days u don't know what's real or fake I have been dealing with these scammers now two years I catch them all the time I know how they use people I have seen faces I have place here in USA where I have sent money you think anyone will listen. Hello you stop them here they can't do a thing. They working out of Canada as well. I know they monitor these chat forums.
September 16, 2019

In reply to by Job3:16

I just got a call from Indiana, saying fraudulent activity was happening on my SS number. This is the number they called from. +12192154910
September 16, 2019

In reply to by Rmartin

I too just got two calls, two hours apart. Both left a robotic VM saying to press 1 now to be connected to someone. Both numbers are completely different other than 888
September 20, 2019

In reply to by ichallengeu

I also got the calls from 888 from the last 3 days. Thank god, it got disconnected.
October 05, 2019

In reply to by ichallengeu

Received a call saying that my ss# would be suspended and that I needed to press 1 to speak with a representative to get more information. When I pressed 1, the line was disconnected. Not sure whether or not the disconnect was intentional on their end.
October 22, 2019

In reply to by Cantbelieveit

I have gotten the same. Then when I hit 1 disconnected. Should I be worried? I didn't talk to anyone and gave out no info.
Scammer Aware
October 29, 2019

In reply to by Chrissy

When you answer and press a button it confirms you phone number is active. They'll be coming at you another way and now your number is on a call list.
July 23, 2020

In reply to by Rmartin

This is a scam number I suppose too, someone call me today and same lines. Be careful! This is the number: 2029324960
September 23, 2019

In reply to by Job3:16

It’s always fake because no legitimate agency uses the phone for communication regarding monetary issues. I’ve trained myself on that young so that I’ll remember it (hopefully) when I’m older and more vulnerable. I’ve also broken myself of the habit of phone politeness I learned as a child. Now I just hang up on everyone from scammers to wrong numbers. It might be rude but scammers record bits and use it as “proof” you authorized something.
September 23, 2019

In reply to by KBE

Agree with KBE, it has been on the news. DON'T give out information over the phone. SS department let's people know they will Never call and ask for your number or money, you cannot depend on others to fix these issues for you. It stinks, but these calls are from everywhere, I think mostly from other countries. I returned a call because I knew it was a scam call told them I was going to report their number, they responded with some very foul language and I hung up on me. They use so many numbers it is hard to keep track of them. Sorry for all the people that lost their money but I hope it a lesson to everyone that get these calls just hang up.
September 17, 2019

In reply to by Lovly2008

Ironic that you post to a government site. My experience is that people in government are far more responsive than the telephone companies or insurance companies or banks or credit bureaus and so forth. If you call or write your congressman demand instead that he or she works to put teeth back into agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
May 13, 2019

In reply to by Sheila Gomez u…

Round Rock, Texas 5/13/19 I got a call from 1 (800)185-1220 they told me that my social security number was being investigated asked me for my address and the last four of my social security he sounded like he was from India but I can be wrong. When I called back the phone was disconnected. It is a scam. Don't give anyone any information about your self over the phone.
Pat from hawaii
May 13, 2019

In reply to by Maria

5/13/19. Got a call from a Maryland number. Same thing telling me my ssn is being investigated and to call back before legal action is taken. What a world we live in.
May 15, 2019

In reply to by Pat from hawaii

I just got a call from MD 410-226-3059 Saying my SS# was compromised and asked to return the call to discuss the case with SS Investigating Officer. Fortunately, my RoboKiller app blocked the call and kept the recording for me to hear. They called twice within one hour. BE CAREFUL!
May 20, 2019

In reply to by Ne

Ne .. what is the name of the RoboKiller app. Obviously we all need it! My call came from a Compton, CA number 310~361~1004. Said they were calling from the "Legal Department of Social Security Administration"... said my SS# has been suspended & they filed a case under my name. Before the matter goes to Federal Claim Court house for me to get arrested, to press '1' " This all went to my voice mail. NOT COOL MAN!!
May 29, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

I received a call telling me social security is reviewing my case and call social security officers. I don't have caller ID . This is horrible.
Aurora in Miami
August 30, 2019

In reply to by Nina

I just got a call with the same recording. It was not someone live. The call came from 1 800-491-9090 But last week I got the same phone call from another phone #. I did not listen the recording for long I ended it any the blocked the caller.
September 04, 2019

In reply to by Aurora in Miami

I got 7 of these calls today! It’s become utterly ridiculous. I never pick up. I didn’t see anyone else mention it here, but if they ask you a question, never answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I think I read that the scammers can construct a fake conversation where you appear to be agreeing to something.
September 13, 2019

In reply to by cincy

Received a voicemail from a Florida phone number (772) 521-9724. Stating I need to contact the Magistrate Dept. With a case number. If I fail to contact them my social security number will be suspended.
November 08, 2019

In reply to by Crystal

Let's add another number to the list: 832-564-3547. LOL I called back because I felt like having fun. I told the 'officer' that I needed his # so that my attorney could call him directly and discuss the matter. He said to call the number I just called. I said, 'No, I needed his number." He repeated that I needed to call the number I just called. But I insisted I needed his number and guess what.... He hung up on me. LOL LOL LOL.