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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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January 25, 2019
rec'd call earlier today from: 12253640370. Recorded msg "SS # is temporarily suspended due to criminal activity... call us back at (SAME # as ID 'd)." Female voice with an accent (Spanish or E. Indian). WHO do these SCAMMERS/SPOOFERS think they are?????? Bunch of idiots.
January 26, 2019
I just received that recording, so I thought, sure Ill call back. They are good, but I knew right away it was a scam, I let him talk, he gave me his badge number, the file number the warrant number for my arrest, ha, pretty funny since I haven't received a police call or visit yet. Supposedly I rented a car down in Texas with my Social security number, that was a give away right away. and the car was involved in a drug and money transaction, they got into my bank accounts, funny I checked them all yesterday, they even opened other accounts with my number. He wanted to verify the accounts, I told him until I heard from the police here or received a letter of registered information from them, I don't believe a word he is saying, and I hung up.
george 242
January 28, 2019
Just tell scammers you are going to report them to ftc
January 29, 2019

In reply to by george 242

Are you serious, George? They KNOW the FTC isn't going to find them, much less DO anything about them! They'll laugh at your remark!!
DMM 123
January 28, 2019
I received about 10 calls today starting at 9am from a Covington, Kentucky number 859-786-1176 ... stating that there is suspicious activity on my SS number and they are going to suspend my number. I told the call that it was BS and he hung up. Please do not be a victim to these scammers
January 29, 2019
I called back and obtained a great deal of information My first encounter was with Robin Jackman (like the actor I said and he said yes) badge #9812167 I was able to get all the way to the supervisor before I hung up Which they told me would result in an arrest warrant being sworn out for me. You know it is a fraud when you use a fake name, mine was Mary Smith and fake last 4 digits of SS# 8381 They were able to verify I was who I said I was-Which is false. They verified my DOB, State in which I lived and address too-which were all false. I had to write things down so I remembered the false info I gave them. I reiterated I trusted the government and they said "thats good Mary ' They asked for my bank balance and I said $80,000 in cash as I don't trust securities. His voice went up a bit as he knew he had a good one. I was transferred to a supervisor Gary Cole (like Coleman so another actor) badge #901676 my case number is DC/7010/co/2458 I wish I could have gone through it all but had to leave for a meeting. DO NOT GIVE THESE PEOPLE ANY OF YOUR REAL INFORMATION It is an India call room. number I called was 281-393-8088 My fake social security number were those numbers They are that stupid. Be careful
hugh anals
January 29, 2019
I like to waste their time as much as I can...I got one who said his name was David Foster....I asked if he was the famous producer...then I started singing and asking if I had what it took
January 29, 2019
I'm curious as to whether any of these scammers have been caught & penalties they've incurred. If the penalty was a sentence of Life in Jail I suspect we'd see less of them. That goes for soliciting & those recorded spiels too. If this country can hunt down & find Bin Laden it can certainly catch & severely punish these animals that prey & are Terrorists themselves! I've read a lot of comments posted but haven't read a single comment from the FTC about WHY these terrorists can't be stopped. Oh, & if someone reports the call, what good does it do? Regarding a different subject, who else out there has entered their phone number to the "Do not call" list then noticed an INCREASE in the number of unsolicited calls?? What's going on, FTC??
Been There
January 30, 2019
Been there done that!!! Fell for a scam involving a loan from GE Financial. Into the bank for nearly $11,000. Now this 1. I keep blocking the numbers but they keep calling from other numbers. BEWARE!!!!!!!!!!!!
October 25, 2019

In reply to by Been There

Watch out for this phone number 279 777-1668 be aware!!!
January 30, 2019
This is how the robo call went: Your soc sec # has been suspended. Press 1 to address this. The number was 1-800-722-9145 (united states) Have receive this call for the last 3 days
June 19, 2019

In reply to by BroJoe33

Same happened to me, today, from this number. +1 (800) 337-4421‬ Beware: they gave me a badge number and everything. I know not to give sensitive info to anyone I don’t know, but the caller was very pushy and couldn’t verify why I had been called... wanted all my info first and when I wouldn’t give it to him, he hung up.
Attempted Scam
January 30, 2019
Jan 30, 2019 - Received a call from 330-303-4259 (East Liverpool, OH) containing a synthesized message to contact SSA at same number regarding fraudulent activity on my SSN and that failure to do so will result in arrest.
January 30, 2019
In December 19th, 2018 I received a call from from those scanners claiming to be SSA. They told me a bunch of nonese and made me given them my life savings. It's really painful what they did to me. I wouldn't want that to happen to another innocent person. Please FTC do something about it. This cannot keep on happening I can't even feed my family now because of the whole situation
January 30, 2019
I received a call on my home voicemail 2-days in a row. They said they were with the SAA to call 800-269-0271 OR call the landline(????) 347-305-6044. Not that wwaa falling for it, but I called the 800# and it has a very professional sounding automation answering system. I hung up.
January 31, 2019
Watch out for telephone number 770-291-6532. I called them back about 12 times to distract them from preying on the elderly, but eventually had to get back to work. I recommend everyone call this number and flood them with calls so they cannot call out. They eventually rolled my phone number to their voicemail. Think I'll fill that up right now.
Al Frankenberry
January 31, 2019
I also received this call from a 682 area code (TX). Gave the same song and dance on the very automated voicemail. Mentions that my SSN has been compromised in some way and to call a number back. So I guess its not just an 800 type of number calling.
January 31, 2019
Thank you for the heads up. I just recieved this scam. I will block the number.
January 31, 2019
Just received a call, not from #800. Someone asked for my personal details and I felt she is smiling like saying cheese.Ph oenix, Arizona number.
Tell these Scu…
October 28, 2019

In reply to by Sarah

The real Social Security Administration has all your information. They won't be needing anything from you - numbers, bank accounts, etc. TELL THEM NOTHING!!!!!! I walked in to hear my mother giving these lowlifes her SS no. and thankfully, she did not give all of it. Tell them NOTHING. They're scammers and thieves.
February 01, 2019
I gave them last 4 of my social and confirmed info they already had. They asked about my bank accounts, the balance of them and my credit cards too. They just asked the balance of those and who they’re with. Do I need to take any action? Never gave out account info but they clearly have my info.
Don'tArmen use…
October 17, 2019

In reply to by Maygen

What did you do about your situation because I did the same thing
Concerned citizen
February 04, 2019
I just got the second call in 2 weeks today. They spoofed the real SS phone number and knew the address of SS in Baltimore. The background noise was very high (call center). The man had a foreign accent. I asked him to give me his direct line to call him back and he hung up. He tried to get my name and SSN but did not give him anything. The prerecorded message sounded very phony. Please stop them from this fraudulent behavior.
GoldiDon't use…
February 04, 2019
I keep getting these calls on my cell phone. About 5 to 6 calls a week. Fortunately, I usually keep my cell phone on "Plane" mode so the messages go directly into my mailbox. They called from one phone number 817-803-6318, and the voicemail was from another, 805-637-7243.
February 05, 2019
Absolutely! I sometimes receive several calls a day about my social security number being under investigation for some sort of criminal activity. I've been blogging about it and sharing the facts. I agree that this is the largest volume of scam calls I've seen!
February 05, 2019
February 05, 2019
I got a call that told me my social security would be taken due to fraud on my accounts. Called back in which I heard several people talking i asked what it was about and spelled my name then asked again what it was about and she then hung up..sad...
February 05, 2019
Social Security scammer with return number of 682-622-0541, listed as Mansfield, TX. Recording stating there was fraudulent activity on my SS account.
Chatty Cathy
February 05, 2019
I have a friend who received a call telling her she had just won an enormous amount of money but that she had to send $700.00 to get it. The $700.00 was to be refunded with her winnings. So she wrote a personal check for it and I told her not to send it because it was a scam. So she tore up the check but kept thinking about it. At the last minute, she decided to send the money after all and went to Western Union and sent her whole SS amount for the month! Then she had to phone her daughter to get $$ for rent, food, utilities, etc. Fortunately, her daughter moved her to be near her and took over her mother's bank account, etc. After receiving the first call she was asked to send 4 checks for $700.00 each to various people around the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and not to worry if she did not have $ to cover it because her winnings would take care of it. She received several calls from another male claiming to be working with the first guy, and he was really sweet to her, calling her darling, etc, and telling her he had purchased a ring for Valentine's Day and would bring it with him when they brought her prize. But they "got stuck in customs" at the airport and phoned her to send more money to help them get the rest of the way to her. Since she had no more money and could not get any more she did not help them. The fellow told her he finally got to a motel near here and gave her a phone number which she called and got him so believed he was in town! The number was a fake! She was so gullible she believed everything he told her. Someone told her she was about to be robbed because she had won so much money, and he was assigned to protect her. He told her he sat in her parking lot every night and watched her apt and that he had her phone tapped and listened in on it most of the time to be sure thieves did not try to trick her into giving them any money. She believed all that he said because one night someone in a uniform knocked on her door claiming to be that fellow and telling her who she was talking to on her phone (me) and what we had been talking about. Anyone with a simple adjustment to their radio can listen in on phone conversations if they are portable or cell phones. His stories were laughable if you were smart enough to think about what he was saying. Unfortunately, she would not listen to anyone who tried to help her and ended up losing a lot of money to 2 guys who were both doing time for previous scams, and were making calls using a computer and not the phone provided by the institution where they were already incarcerated for what they were once again doing! So LOCKING THEM UP DOES NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM!
April 03, 2019
They have been calling for the past few days. They called from this # (800) 777-7157
October 26, 2020

In reply to by erikarey@

Don't answer the phone if you don't recognize the number or you know it's fake.
February 05, 2019
This has resurfaced again - almost exactly as the recording - but now when you wait - an actual person will come on the line and ask you for information. The two numbers that is has come from: Yesterday February 4, 2019 at 3:11 pm 1-800-777-2152 and today, Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 1:50 pm from 1-800-777-2157
February 05, 2019
Just yesterday I received a phone call from (855) 200 7051 stating that my SS had been compromised and found to be linked to criminal activity in the South Border of Texas. I was informed that SS # had been suspended or blocked and that I was suspect in a case of drug trafficking and money laundering in the thousands of dollars. Additionally, a very strange voice assisted voice from this man said that if I did not cooperate with the Social Security Administration I would be arrested and I needed to appear in front of the Magistrate to face charges lifted against me. This was most disturbing as I truly believed that it was the Social Security Administration calling me since I had spoken to the IRS that same morning. My personal information was robbed and I have no idea what they are going to do with it in the dark web. I called my banks, credit bureaus, Social Security Administration, the Inspector General and the Police Department as well as LIFE LOCK who is now monitoring transactions linked to my SS # in the dark web. Yesterday was a horrible long day where I felt intruded upon, scared and violated. This should be considered a reportable criminal act .
February 06, 2019
I have had several of the calls that say my ss# is going to be suspended. Unfortunately, I blocked and then deleted the phone numbers without writing them down. However, my husband and I have gotten some good laughs listening to the ridiculous phrases it uses and the stilted way it talks. For me that was the give away. I never called them back. I listen to my voicemail just long enough for them to talk then I erase the voicemail. I didn't at first and that's when we got our laugh at their robot guy. Had I known about this website I would have saved the phone numbers and dates of the calls. Sorry Everyone!
October 26, 2020

In reply to by SCHendnv

There is no point to saving the phone number shown on your caller ID. Scammers use software that substitutes a fake phone number instead of their real number. You're wasting your time reporting a fake phone number!
February 06, 2019
Scammers use fear to extract information from people. Especially vulnerable elderly and those with conative decline. Please do not respond to these threats. Remain calm and think. The government is not going to make such threats by phone via robo calls.
February 06, 2019
I just got a call from +1(800)77-2162, claiming to be SSA. They gave me case number DMC701089. Officer Shane Marker. Employee ID. 02840175. Claiming my SSN will be suspended and that there was an arrest warrant (he gave me a number) against my SSN, due to money laundry and drug trafficking concerning El Paso Tx addresses. Our admin said this was a scam, and advise me to hang up. Be aware as they have new tactics to appear legit. Reading this I realize that SSA would never call you to report suspicious activity or to cancel your number. Don't provide any info to anyone you don't know in the phone.
March 25, 2019

In reply to by Sinlu

I just got the same call from "office Shane Marker" @ 1-877-1213. He was trying to ask me my first and last name, so I asked him his and to spell it out bc it sounds extremely sketchy. He got frustrated I was skeptical and hung up on me. I tried to call the number back and its permanently busy.
July 11, 2019

In reply to by Sinlu

I have gotten this same call saying the same thing and it still is happening I just got a new call today it scares the crap out of me .I know it's not real cuz I called the cops from where they say their from andwhere the warrant is for from money laundering and drug smuggling in my name supposed ,and the cops had no info they said it was a scam and told me to contact the cops up here in my bank to let them know to watch out. So everyone needs to watch it and don't trust anyone at all!!!!!
Ivy Huang
November 27, 2019

In reply to by Sinlu

I just got a call from 800-109-2925, claiming to be SSA. They gave me case number DMC701089. Officer Shane Marker, employee ID is 02840175. Claiming my SSN will be suspended and advised me to solve the problem. First of all, he asked my full name and the last 4 digital of my SSN, I was kind of confuse but still gave him my name and last 4 numbers. And then, he transfer the line to another one to talk to me, the second one told me what problem was and asked me must be solve it. I said that can I go to the local Social Security Department to solve it, he said they won't do it and threaten me that If I did not solve the problem the police will arrest me, after I heard that I just told him "thanks, I will go to the police department let them arrest me."
August 03, 2020

In reply to by Sinlu

I just got this exact same call. He told me someone stole my SSN, and gave me the below info saying criminal activity was happening under my stolen SSN. I hung up once I googled his name and saw that this was a scam. Officer Shane Marker - SSA Officer ID 02840175 Case ID DMC701089 "10 days ago criminal activity" 1245 e 16th Ave, El Paso, TX 7609 Ocean Ave, El Paso, TX
February 06, 2019
got a phone call saying they put a stop on my ss because of suspicion number they called from I didn't answer but thought I would report this.
February 07, 2019
I just got one but listened to it. The voice of the person you could tell was not leget. What came us on the phone as to the phone number was one from my area which makes you think it is local. I just hung up after listening to all of it.
Douglas AZ
February 07, 2019
Received a call from 210361-2143 telling me that my Social Security number has been suspended due to criminal activities. This I knew was a scam just informing others
February 07, 2019
I filed for SS. A few days later they called to verify. They got me. I was unaware of any scams at the time. I gave them what they needed to complete the application. Color me mad as hell and feeling violated. Now waiting for bad things to happen.
February 07, 2019
I just got a call saying “You are receiving this prerecorded message to notify you that your social will be suspended due to illegal activity. It's very important that I hear back from you in a timely manner before we can proceed further with the status of your social and assets.” ‭This was the number (800) 777-2170‬. Avoid answering to this number.
February 07, 2019
So I just go this call, and I connected with an agent the person asked for my name to pull up my file. Ss soon as I gave them my name (my real name) they disconnected. Am I in trouble now?!
February 07, 2019
come arrest me. Bring it on!!
September 11, 2019

In reply to by scamsnomore

That's exactly what I said!! 1rst of all the guy couldn't even say my name correctly n it's not that difficult, trust me!!! Next it was 7pm n I heard like 30 telemarketers in the background n said, what r u selling, cruises 2 Mexico cause I'll take 4, n he just stopped 4 a second than I said n by the way, SSA closes @ 4:30!! He hung up on me!! But after like 15 calls, it was fun 2 mess w/ them 4 a chance. N my calls always start with 212 or Texas also. BTW my son is like super smart on the computers n he says if we call the #'s back, they may b able 2 hack our phone or computer, I don't know if they can but just in case.