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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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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8,513 Comments

mare
June 06, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

goodness.i just this very day got an identical call as this one. i hung up and it went to voicemail, recorded the whole thing. crazy people.not cool indeed! a roller coaster ride until i found this to read so thank you for posting your message!
Devilish1427
June 17, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

I got the same call today too! But the # is 510-112-7281. Called every hour since 10am because I didn't answer. Each time I only got the end of the automated message. So I finally picked up the last call at 2pm and it said to press 1 as well but the call ends immediately after saying press 1. Not cool for sure. Now gonna have to put up a fraud alert.
Spooked
June 18, 2019

In reply to by Devilish1427

Same exact number called me. I pushed one. Connected to someone with an accent, couldn't understand what he was saying so hung up. I hope I'm okay.
Leah
August 12, 2019

In reply to by Spooked

You’re DEFINITELY ok!!!!! Just never ever give out your social security number or account numbers or anything. If you’re still unsure, hang up, Google the legitimate company it’s self and call them. Make sure the website you googled is the actual legitimate company. Research, research, research! Also try typing in the command line on a search: scam (space) and then the phone number. Or name. You will more than likely see that number reported several times with other people experiencing the same scam. And any number you call back and it hangs up on you, it’s a scam. Also, make them give information about yourself to you first, etc. etc. , even with the legitimate ones. Many ways you can be safe about this. It’s an epidemic of mass proportions these days.
Sok
August 19, 2019

In reply to by Leah

Is it safe if I only told the person on the other side of the phone my Full name and my zip code??! (He keeps calling me btw on different numbers but same voicemail number)
Person that do…
August 19, 2019

In reply to by Leah

I gave the person on the phone my Full name and Zip Code...is that still safe?
new
October 31, 2019

In reply to by Person that do…

Same I did. Am I safe ? ‭+1 (800) 685-3456‬
raghu6
November 15, 2019

In reply to by new

You should be careful, next time they will collect some other information like your birth date, please register your self in credit alert system, so if some one inquiry or applying for loan or credit card on behalf of you, you will get a alert immediately.
Not Fooled
July 14, 2020

In reply to by Person that do…

No it's not at all wise or safe to give out any info to any unknown callers, or calls that you did not initiate, period!
Cityzen
September 13, 2019

In reply to by Leah

I also got a scam call this morning with a recorded voice to press 1 since my social security number has been suspended! Since I didn't know about the scam earlier so I pressed 1 and nothing happened further. Am I still safe or already fall victim? Is there any way they can do some harm to me for pressing 1? Thanks.
maddmaxx
August 12, 2019

In reply to by Spooked

I got the same message from a woman named Mary.I could only understand half of what she told me. I almost fell for it but I caught on quick
Rs
December 04, 2019

In reply to by Spooked

You are ok but now they will tag your number as someone who takes the scam calls. Be prepared for more calls from their buddies.
JohnS1
July 05, 2019

In reply to by Devilish1427

I just got a call from a number very close to that 510-112-7560. Let it got to VM. Got a similar call a few days ago from a MI area code but that VM threatened legal action including turning me over to the "magistrate". It's crazy the amount of scammers out there.
Been there.
July 22, 2019

In reply to by JohnS1

Don't press 1. That's what the scammer does to be assured that he has called a working number. It means you will get more calls. Here's the thing: No one from the Social Security Administration will ever call you on the phone and ask for any part of your number. The SSA will never, ever "suspend" or "investigate" your social security number. If you feel you must answer the phone, don't even speak. Either hang up right away, or -- and this is my favorite -- put your phone down on he counter and wait for them to give up and hang up on you. Don't engage with the caller in any way, shape or form. This goes for the B.S. scam calls pretending to be from the RS. The IRS ain't gonna call you. Or the calls from the sheriff saying you're going to be arrested, All fake. All they want is YOUR MONEY.
janetx2
July 30, 2019

In reply to by Been there.

On the 2nd call, I did press 1, told the guy off and haven't received a call since!
Seanjohn
August 28, 2019

In reply to by janetx2

I did the same thing. Press 1 and spoke to someone. Well not actually spoke i cussed them out and i havent gotten a call since. Before they would call me and leave a voicemail 4 to 5 times a day ..
knowsbetter
September 17, 2019

In reply to by Seanjohn

They are now just using 'robocalls' and ya can't even cuss at someone anymore. lol
PerfectNot
November 25, 2019

In reply to by knowsbetter

My caller was robo as well. Called, left message, called back with the same fake number, left a message, then called from a different number and left message. All before 6:30 am! How rude! I'm about to go back to house phone only. You want to talk to me? Wait until I'm home. I pay way too much money to have people calling my cell phone for this!
joss
October 25, 2019

In reply to by janetx2

I just received one of this calls and it was clearly someone with an indian accent
Tshag
November 11, 2020

In reply to by joss

Me too! They called from a number with my area code and the same first three digits of my number. I played along ... they didn’t ask for any information other than confirming my name which was wrong but I played along. They told be in order to get $9000 I’d have to call a number - 202.750.4817. FAKES!!!
Chari 7
November 21, 2020

In reply to by Tshag

I just received a similar call telling me my SS # had been compromised and to press a certain number for more information. I knew it was not from there, so I terminated the call. I had another one yesterday from a different number saying I had been involved in illegal activity. I did the same thing. They are alive and well and out to get our information, so beware!
Scammer Aware
October 29, 2019

In reply to by Been there.

Agree. Don't press one. In fact, don't answer any calls that are not in your contact list. Let them go to voicemail. If it's legit, they'll leave a message!!
Patrick25
July 12, 2019

In reply to by Devilish1427

I just received the exact same call & partial msg on my VM as Devilish1427. And when I called back I also heard that same robo msg. Only difference is the # (+1-518-800-4007) & it says it came from NY. Good luck people. Remember to stay vigilant and NEVER share any of your info with a cold caller. If you really believe that you might have a problem then contact the REAL SSA and ask a real agent or whatever title that they use.
lisaloo
July 16, 2019

In reply to by Devilish1427

I have received several calls today saying my Social Security number has been suspended. The caller ID is 510-112-7281. The recording asked me to press 1. I blocked the number.
Don't use your…
August 01, 2019

In reply to by lisaloo

I just received this message also. They said my social security number had been suspended. The caller ID was 877-890-3556.
Tipeytoez
September 05, 2019

In reply to by lisaloo

I got tbe end of a voicemail saying " my social would be suspended if I didn't call them back at a 214 area code..... I did try to call back, no one answered it just rang and rang???
Kem
October 07, 2019

In reply to by lisaloo

I just got call from 1800 136 4557 and stating same thing. It looks like scam.
Kat
October 17, 2019

In reply to by lisaloo

They have called me more than 10 calls in this week. And the numbers vary: ‭+1 (713) 403-4638‬, ‭+1 (713) 760-5992‬, ‭+1 (713) 338-9960‬, ‭+1 (516) 317-0045‬, ‭+1 (516) 317-0045‬, ‭+1 (516) 754-6891‬, and some shown unknown. They have the same content saying that “ hello this call is from the investigation department of social security administration this is to inform you that your Social Security number is being suspended and there is an arrest warrant being issued under your name to talk to an officer press one I repeat to know more about the case press one...” That’s really annoying me.
gabana88
August 22, 2019

In reply to by Devilish1427

this EXACT thing just happened to me. called the number back and it was offering a special promotion for ppl over 50. and they called from 2 different numbers: 1(800)-772-4823 and 1(800)-772-8519 within an hour of eachother.
Alwkeel
October 22, 2019

In reply to by gabana88

The exact same thing happened to me just now. When called number back it was supposed to be about lowering my electric bills 18778035681.
Rokatruji
September 21, 2020

In reply to by gabana88

I received scam call saying that it was from SSA from 480-618-5262 and 202-858-9959
Robby
June 21, 2019

In reply to by Rayf

They would most likely, as said in the voicemail, Ask for your information and other personnels that they could use to rob you of your cash or something.
scams out of c…
September 29, 2019

In reply to by Rayf

I’m getting a call saying my social security # has been frozen in one call and another from a Federal Agent? I work for a federal Agency so it Wouldn’t be too difficult to locate me!
Don'gggt use y…
December 11, 2020

In reply to by Rayf

then they will tell you to hit 1 .....lol...
Maria Lopez
June 25, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

Got the exact same voicemail fro a 210 area code. I deleted the message and blocked the number. I tried calling it and got an automated message. SCAMMERS!!!
Avictim
September 04, 2019

In reply to by Maria Lopez

Same, got a message from a 210 number said it was from San Antonio
gunsandhoses
July 02, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

Same call happened to me, but it was from a 425 area code number, makes you wonder what is going on.
Gloria
July 08, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

SS will never call you! Period! NEVER give your social to anyone unless you KNOW who and why!
Rockroller
July 10, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

I received a call today tell me that my Soc sec number has been compromised and that I needed to call back before this goes into court. The number is 717-312-8156 is this a scam call. I think it is .
Dorian
August 30, 2019

In reply to by Rockroller

Add 866-390-1660 to the spam caller list. Robocall asking me to call back at that number because of suspicious activity regarding my SSN. Dumb jerks actually thought I would call them back, LOL!
Timboy
October 28, 2020

In reply to by Dorian

They have an infinite amount of phone numbers. Adding one number to a scam list in your phone will not deter them.
NoImDirtyDan
July 17, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

I keep getting those calls and random voicemails, I’ve blocked so many. And every time it’s the same robotic voice that tries so hard to sound like a person I think it might be a California thing tbh, I only ever get them when I travel to California. Last time I came here I got 1 of those calls. This time I’ve gotten over 10 and then ‘bout 5 or 6 voicemails. All from different numbers so you know they got that call box thing. Like my guy I’m tryna enjoy my vacation cease and desist
Tipeytoez
September 05, 2019

In reply to by LizMGM

Yes!!!!! We all NEED THIS APP however those of us who are on a budget can't afford this app!!! Its ridiculous that something that's supposed to help the world always has to cost money. If anyone knows of an app that also does the same thing I would love to know what the name of it is
FTC Staff
September 05, 2019

In reply to by Tipeytoez

If you have a mobile phone:

  • search for free call-blocking apps
  • see if your phone has built-in features that let you block calls
  • ask your phone carrier what call-blocking services it offers

You can find a list of call-blocking apps for mobile phones at ctia.org. That is a website for the U.S. wireless communications industry. The site lists apps for Android, BlackBerry, iOS (Apple), and Windows devices.

PerfectNot
November 25, 2019

In reply to by Tipeytoez

what app? I'm not rich, but would like to stop being awakened by stupid scammers who don't know what time it is where they're calling! I need sleep!
mejp
May 21, 2019

In reply to by Ne

They asked me to call back at (206)231-6022 after calling from a (401) number, and proceed to call me back 3x w/o leaving a voicemail. They had my full name and home addess, very disturbing