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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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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

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Mark S
February 08, 2019
Spoofing the caller ID is one thing, but in the recording, the crooks gave out an 800 number for the victim to call back. Presumably, the 800 number is answered by these crooks, yet government officials seem unable to catch these guys. How about a subpoena to the telephone company associated with the 800 call back number to see the name and address associated with it?
February 08, 2019
I just got the call today from phone # 800-777-2179, stating my social security number has been suspended. They said I will no longer receive benefits etc. I hung up shortly after that.
February 11, 2019
Got my first call from them today, didn't sound exactly like example above, but pretty close. Don't understand how or why spoof cards are legal.......makes scamming people much too easy.
September 17, 2019

In reply to by Frustrating

I got a call from them today 09/17/19. This proves this scam is still going on. I hung up the phone since I knew this could not be real. The phone number that showed up on the caller ID was 1-643-891-1859. Just FYI, for anybody that gets a call from these.
February 11, 2019
I just received a call telling me that my S.S # has been suspended. I Googled and found this.
February 11, 2019
I get a scam call like this almost everyday and sometimes multiple times a day. They keep switching numbers, but it is always the same sort of poorly scripted automated voice. I would love to see these scam artists behind jail for years. One example gives a phone number with the - being stated as "to" as if it were a number range. And then they say "and I repeated" with the same number then say "thank you and have a nice day" Another says "the issue at hand is extremely time sensitive" in the same voice and number phrasing. It is extremely annoying.
February 11, 2019
Funny how charges will be pressed on me and I should not ignore the message. I called back last year and told them to arrest me that I was still waiting for the local cops to come. I am still waiting. These jerks are relentless on calling. And when you call their bluff and ask them about what they want you to verify they hang up. I think that the social security administration knows what your address birthday and ss# assigned to you is. I get paperwork from them periodically and they don't call asking me where to send it or even my number so they send correct info. Just tell them to go pound salt and they can take whatever action against you that they wish you will be anxiously waiting for them. And then you will wait and wait and wait for nothing to ever materialize. The SSA, IRS or any other official government office will never contact you by phone. They will contact you by mail. Sometimes certified mail and will only call you when they are returning your call which hardly ever happens. Most contacts you will have you will be contacting them not them contacting you. So don't feel threatened. Call them to call your mother Mrs No Peep and your father Porky Pig and give them the phone number to the CIA as their contact number. Peace out people. Karma will get them with our help if we waste their time give them no information at all except for cartoon character names and official phone numbers.
August 06, 2020

In reply to by Dontuseemail

I just want to tell "Dontuseemail"| that I loved his/her February 11, 2019 post; great advise; very funny too! :)
February 12, 2019
I got call from 832-632-4435- ( TX) Person name - Andrew Hall , Case number -SSM31768 and BA3RT65
J Wallach
February 12, 2019
I just received a computerized voice telling me to call 281-946-7524. 2/12/19 - 11:06 am PST
February 12, 2019
Received two voice mails in one day; one call from 1-866-404-8434 and second call from 1-866-404-8845; both calls I sent to my voice mail. Message states: "This call is from the Department of Social Security Administration the reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspended your Social Security number because we found suspicious activity, so if you wan to know about this, just press one. Thank you." I'm no fool, did not call back and will report. Thank you so much for posting this blog.
February 12, 2019
Now they are calling me from a 866-755-5371 number! Same recording though.
February 12, 2019
Just received this call, thanks for posting this as I assumed it was fraud. “This is the SSN department my name is Officer Kathy Johnson and this call is regarding to your Social Security number we found some fraudulent activities under your name to know more information please call us back on this number 864-274-0291 I repeat 864-274-0291 thank you…”
F. T
February 13, 2019
I'd like to know what we can do to stop these scammers. I receive daily calls.
October 26, 2020

In reply to by F. T

Nothing - except not to answer calls from an unknown phone number. They won't leave a message.
donny53n't use…
February 14, 2019
they upset me real bad that my blood pressure went up. I am on the do not call list &should not have got the call to begin with.
Saustin324 Don…
February 15, 2019
I just received this call from 707-814-4213 Geyserville, CA
February 15, 2019
I JUST got one of these also--exactly as described. And I'm normally pretty aware of these...They actually called my local PD with me on the line, so I put them on mute and called the local PD at the same time. Can these people not be caught???
February 15, 2019
They got your addresses, to send you mail. They call a little ahead of time of scheduled time with what's said a repersentive. Trying figure fake from real these days are impossiable. Especially if they have your phone number & addresses.
February 19, 2019
Is posing as a rep from SSA legal? If not, why haven't these scammers been shut down? After all, we all know exactly how to find them. If all we get from the FTC is a comment board, then the FTC isn't really of much use, is it?
February 19, 2019
I got a phone call to day from a guy named Edward with badge # 3156219AC claming to be from the SSA in El Paso TX telling m that I had cars on my name with drugs found in them and that I was money laundering from a few different banks and that I would have to be issued a new SS# and so on....
February 19, 2019
I received a call with a recording stating my SSN had been suspended due to suspicious activity & to press 1 to speak to a SSA representative . I pressed 1 & a woman with a middle Eastern accent ask for my SSN. I hung up. But what I find odd is that I haven't received a call prior to today & I filed a claim earlier today. So coincidence or no??
July 23, 2019

In reply to by 1blessedmom

I recieved the exact same call except I didn't press one because I knew it was a scam as I have other safeguards in place that would have alerted me the second something suspicious came up with my SSN.
February 19, 2019
Scam Voice Message received today. Hi this is officer Ryan Smith calling you from the department of social security administration. The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that there is a legal enforcement action filed on your social security number for criminal activities. So when you get this message kindly call us soon as possible on our number that is 908-991-6490.
February 20, 2019
Received call today February 20 at 10:10 AM. From +1 510-470-6720. The computer generated voice said that I was suspected of Social fraud and to call back or I would be prosecuted. When I called the number the man mumbled something about Social security. There were many voices like it was a call center. I hung up.
February 20, 2019
Just got a call from them today and they left a similar voicemail only the number was 215-586-8599 and that is what they left for me to call. The caller id showed as V22010141300179. I never answer this type of caller id.
July 16, 2019

In reply to by Michelle

got the call from same number, glad to see your comment and didn't take any action.
February 20, 2019
Just had a scam call claiming to be social security happen to me a few minutes ago. How do we report a situation like this?
February 20, 2019
continually getting calls from 408-426-8158
Tired of scammers
February 21, 2019
Seems like I've been getting a lot of calls since last year about illegal enforcement fraudulent activity filed on my social security telling me to call back before it goes to legal proceedings....this is an automated woman caller coming from an 8175876001.....our area code is 817 but I'm pretty sure this is a scam. This call is getting old and I have not received anything in the mail.
February 21, 2019
I have received 5 phone called with 5 different numbers, all stated they are from the department of social security stating that they just suspend my ssn due to suspicious activity. Numbers are: 844-243-4432, 800-832-6030, 855-098-2276, 877-222-1478, 800-803-9311
September 27, 2019

In reply to by ughhhh

I have received SEVERAL calls from the 877-222-1478 .. got to a rep and he said it was Social Security Administration, what can you say to get them to verify who they are?
February 22, 2019
I received a call from the "IRS" that I had owed money for an error on my tax form when I asked for what year I was told a year after I stopped filing taxes as all we get is social security retirement ,told them it was a scam and hung up.
Mrs D
February 24, 2019
I never answer my land line, letting my call blocker answer, but they leave messages, mostly of the tech support or SSA variety, which have a number of things in common. First, the English grammar is horrible, like the following snippet: "It seems to be someone is trying to steal your personal informations. If it's not fixed right away, then all of your credential infomations may got compromised." Or this: "There will be autodeduction $599 from your bank account. In case you don't want to get charges..." Second, rather than having normal pauses, the messages often have pauses inserted in inappropriate places, giving the voices a strange cadence: "I am calling from Microsoft ...... Windows Refund Department for the refund of your ....... computer technical support which was paid ..... few months ago as the ...... company has been ordered to close ..... down please call our toll free number..." They often end with inappropriate signoffs, such as, "...before we begin legal proceedings. Thanks." Lastly, the computerized voices are often of terrible quality, sounding muffled and of uneven loudness. Though they no longer use live callers with Indian accents, the robo calls are obviously programmed by foreigners with limited proficiency in English.
February 25, 2019
Got a call from a number with an automated voice message, I couldn’t hear it all on my answering machine. This is what I heard “ fraudulent activity, press one to hear more about the case”. Called the number back and it was the actual SSI wage reporting line. Is this one of those spoof calls?
September 24, 2019

In reply to by Bm

I got one too. Same message. I didn’t call back. Did you ever find out what happened? Was it legitimate? This iso awful. The number was: ‭+1 (643) 661-9976‬
Nice Try
February 26, 2019
A few weeks ago I received a call from "Kimberly", of the Social Security Administration Fraud Prevention Unit, but I wasn't home and they left a message. My SS number was being suspended because of involvement with illegal activity. They left a number to call them back. The next day I received a call from "Susan", of the Social Security Administration Fraud Prevention Unit, and that if I do not respond immediately, my assets would be frozen. Again they left a number to call back (same number). I called that number several times, from a different number of course, and always got a recording that all operators were busy, and to leave a message. I did leave them several messages with very choice words that would make even a hardened criminal cringe. I reported the messages that were left for me to the FTC with the phone number that was used. And I had a good laugh. Stay Alert!!!
February 26, 2019
I got this same call today Scam Voice Message received today. Hi this is officer Ryan Smith calling you from the department of social security administration. The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that there is a legal enforcement action filed on your social security number for criminal activities. So when you get this message kindly call us soon as possible on our number that is 908-991-6490.
March 04, 2019

In reply to by mary

I got the same exact call today! A voicemail was left in a robot voice stating something about “criminal activities” and to call back before they begin with “legal proceedings” . The number was ‭+1 (650) 694-9868‬
February 26, 2019
I got a call from 1-8774694479, and they said they my SSN was being used to open bank accounts and buy cars in Texas area. And then the FBI had found this car abandoned in some area and. there was blood stains and cocaine found in the car. They also said that someone had opened bank accounts on using my SSN and my Name and wired huh amounts of money all over the country and to Mexico. They mention that in order to get my SSN blocked and order a new SSN to my name I needed to convert all the money that I had in my current bank account into government bonds, and that government will keep this money safe until I got new SSN, and I opened new bank accounts. They said this was my only option to clear my name, and other option was that they would send FBI to my house, arrest me and put me in jail for 9 years or have $80k as fine. I sensed this was not right and I disconnected the phone. Then I got two more calls from another number 1-360-441-5733. I did not pick up.
February 27, 2019
(234) 815-1021 - Claimed they were Social Security Administration.
Another scam a…
February 28, 2019
I just received the call from a person with a thick accent. He told me I was going to be arrested for fraudulent Social Security card activity and he needed information from me. I told him it sounds like a foreign call center- where are you calling from? He said- Texas. The number: 410-635-5146 shows it is from New Windsor, MD. I asked him if he was going to ask me for my SS number he said no only the last four digits. I asked him what name does he have for me? He hung up!!!
February 28, 2019
Call from 1-800-772-1223 routed to voicemail. The pre-recorded message that was left claimed to be the SSA (their real number is 1-800-772-1213) and provided a callback number of 315-257-1709. Please be careful folks.
March 01, 2019
For the past three days, I've received calls from different (866) numbers saying something similar to the automated response posted here. I chose to press 1 and have brief discussion with the man who answered the phone (Middle Eastern accent). The numbers I've received calls from so far are: (866) 404-5229 (866) 404-8699 (866) 404-5232 All say the same thing, my social security number has been compromise and will be suspended. I don't even receive any social security benefits.
August 27, 2019

In reply to by ScammersStink

Got a call from 800-264-3087 Lady sounded indian,wanted my name gave her my name Claimed fraudulent activity on my number Wanted last four of my social ,but when i said no ,it hung up. Scammers
March 04, 2019
Add these numbers as well 866-404-8075 and 866-404-8023. Social Security Scam. Sounds slightly different than above robot voice. Worded differently, but same idea. Be careful out there folks.
March 04, 2019
Received a phone call that stated my SSN will be blocked and I will no longer receive benefits. 1-800-747-7774
August 20, 2019

In reply to by Anonymous

1-800-517-0223 called and left the same robo message. I pressed option one to speak with an "officer" and when they answered I told them they had reached a federal office and I needed to know who i was speaking with because what they were doing was illegal. The man replied "no" - he would not give me his name. I told him, "Thats okay, we have all this recorded on our computers so we will be shutting you down soon anyway."
March 04, 2019
I just got the call about the SSN being suspended due to fraud. 1 (234) 356-4549 was the number that came up on the caller ID.
March 04, 2019
Someone called from 1+ 234 358 9482/ 1+ 234 356 8741/ 1+ 234 354 9556 asked for name and social, told them why the need of that???? Told them police will be called, and that if what he claimed was true, a letter would be sent! He was saying that the social was suspended. He said his name was Alvin and he works for the SSA in El Paso Texas. Be careful!