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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


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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 don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

JW
March 20, 2019
I received two calls today from 943-239-2551 when I spoke with the person I asked for their name and id number because all employees with the government have to provide that info if they are asked. The foreign woman hung up on me immediately.
Tracy
March 20, 2019
I've received several calls the last few months from these scammers. The numbers have been 866-404-6953, or 866-404-2496, or 866-404-1735. They all have heavy accents and seem to know nothing about me. I'm certainly not giving any info to them. They claim that my SSN has been suspended due to fraud. I'm thinking that any number that starts with 866-404-xxxx must be one of those scammers. Can't anyone go catch those guys and shut down their operation?!
EV
March 21, 2019
I got about 20 calls the last 2 days from an 866 #, with the exact wording mentioned above. Thank you for posting this. I had a feeling it was another scammer.
bob
March 21, 2019
i had the same incident with same "badge number 3156219ac'' saying it was offcer hernadez
FEDUPWITHSCAMMERS
March 22, 2019
I just received an automated call from a 866 312 3455 number saying that my SS has fraudulent activity and needs to be attended to right away. bunch of BS.
Oxford
March 22, 2019
FYI, the word is "impostor" with no "e". No point the Government spreading misspellings; our schools can't even teach kids to write a sentence anymore.
FTC Staff
April 03, 2019

In reply to by Oxford

Oxford, We chose to use imposter, which is an acknowledged variant for impostor. I hope you find the blog information of use.

Got the call y…
March 22, 2019
Because my heart's Ruler asks me to pray for my enemies, I am going to pray that the criminals making these calls recover from the damage that makes them criminals and come to realize how their drive for safety, power, and riches is causing them to hurt others not unlike themselves.
Subhasis
March 22, 2019
We got the same call from 430-808-3456 today just now.
text
March 22, 2019
im receiving false calls from this number 1(877)613-1213
Victim
March 23, 2019
I thought I would never fall for one of these scams and am extremely embarrassed to admit that I went as far as withdrawing money from my account per their instructions! I received call from (800)772-1244. Initially I didn’t answer the call but they left a voice message with a different call back number, more of a direct line in order to be able to speak to someone from the Social Security Administration. The number was (201)590-1196. The voice message did not say anything about suspending my social security. The only warning it gave was to not disregard the call as it was regarding an important matter. The reason it was so believable in my case was because I had just visited my local Social Security office a couple of days ago to request a new social security card as mine had recently been stolen along with my vehicle. I thought the call was related to this request. Unless I am misremembering, I recall them even mentioning my recent visit to the Social Security Office, which made it that much more credible! They gave me the Texas story with a vehicle being rented under my name were they found cocaine and an association with money laundering along with 22 bank accounts under my name. The accents were heavy. I did briefly question the likelihood of a government agency employing someone with just a strong accent but I have experienced these strong accents in the past especially when I call credit card companies so I didn’t fixate too much on it. On the contrary, I believed everything they were saying and did exactly as they said including driving to my bank in the middle of my work day to withdraw all of my savings. It wasn’t until I was transferred to the third “officer” who asked me to mail a few ten thousands of dollars to the “government” via FedEx that it all just started to become too suspicious and I began to question the individual. He actually stayed on the phone with me for about 30-40 minutes answering g my questions and trying to convince me of the legitimacy of his request. The only reason he hung up was because I had driven to the Sheriffs Dept. while on the phone with him. When he asked were I was and I told him he said I would be arrested in about 10 mins and hung up. Nonetheless, I am definitely disappointed in myself for falling for such a ridiculous story. I even confirmed my SSN and DOB. It’s quite lamentable. My suggestion is call back the number that you originally receive the call from. If I would’ve called the 800... number first rather than the number I was instructed to call in the voice message I trust I would’ve figured it out . Specially because the person answering is an automated system advertising a bogus “special promotion”. #firsttimer
Don't call
January 22, 2020

In reply to by Victim

You should NEVER call a number back directly in these cases. Look up the listed Soc Security office number and call them, or the main federal number. The numbers being different than the scammer will be your first warning flag, imo.
Stay WOKE
February 18, 2021

In reply to by Victim

1-312-405-5853 Newest Chicago,IL. Scam# I I should preface this by saying that this phone call took place closer to 6 p.m. Chicago time and all of our SSI offices are currently closed because of the pandemic people are working from home but our business hours for Social Security end at 4 p.m. I received a series of voicemail bot messages over one and one half weeks letting me know my "social security number was suspended push one for more information". I did [push 1] finally and an Indian man answered the phone and said "hello how may I help you" I responded with "you called me so, you need to tell me the nature of this call" he said "will you verify your birthday, first and last name"? My response was "you should know I won't verify anything, as you called me" he said "well this is going to be a criminal court matter, and I'll call this number 100,000 times if I have too" I said "that's fine but I need you to tell me the nature of this call, so if you're calling me regarding a Criminal Court matter, or you're calling to collect on a bill you would KNOW my first and last name and I won't be verifying anything until you tell me at least my first and last name". I then proceeded to tell him that if it is indeed a debt collection all debt collectors do begin by saying I need to let you know this is an attempt to collect a debt and that is when he hung up the phone on me. When I called back the phone was and continued to be busy, do not fall for the okey-doke!!!!
Mlr
March 23, 2019
My husband heard the voicemail just like the ssa scam , then somehow it connected to the phone number which showed the real ssa no but it is not the real ssa. Then the good english speaking guy transfer to the indian guy to act all legitimate and he knows my husband name and ssn already!!! And our address, i dont know if we just bought the house and we got some mortgage loan scam paper on the mail, life insurance scam on the mail, they know how much the house is as in public record and know our name and address of course, nth is safe anything since the wicked misuse the technology to mislead innocent people, like satan father of lie, and now they just like to lie and make believe how cunning these scammers are.Now we just need to put fraud alert on our credit report and file tax asap .We dont feel secure after all these lie. Nobody like lie. God give us the conscience to like the truth.....then the indian guy started asking personal questions said need to frozen our bank acct.sayong how much we have, how much credit limit and how much we spent?! Fishy there and FBI and CIA arrest drug lord and frozen their bank acct, why me innocent victim, so weird and they should come to my door if sth really happen but is not the case, the police and ssa said nth they can do about it.Just drama to get your money.stressful for mu husband suddenly said put him in jail when he is the victim now his back is hurting and leg numb because he dont like the faxt that the con artist knows his name ,ssn and address !!!!!!!
Missmeow
March 23, 2019
I had the same thing happen to me but it was on my cellphone. Instead of gift cards it was iTunes gift card for $100 each. Did not send them anything. I thought I was messaging my cousin but quickly figured it out.
Rory
March 24, 2019
I received a robotic female voice about my social security number being suspended and to call the number back and/or press 1. It was a New York number 347-909-1213. Interesting.
One old man
March 25, 2019
I get those calls constantly I have a big advantage in dealing with scam calls I have moved from an area that I lived in for 25 years and kept my phone number Now I live in a totally different area code I decline calls that are not in my phone book with my contacts list
roberta
March 25, 2019
I just got two of these back to back on my cell phone. Both were robo calls. Do NOT respond to these scams! Warn your friends and family!
NR
March 25, 2019
Another scam call, same message from a different number 8006749818. I just don't answer it but the voicemail is the same automated message about my SS being cancelled due to suspicious activity.
NR
March 25, 2019
Another scam call, same message from a different number 8006749818. I just don't answer it but the voicemail is the same automated message about my SS being cancelled due to suspicious activity.
Sotired
March 25, 2019
The number they called me from was 1-951-267-9896
Sick Of Robot …
July 03, 2020

In reply to by Sotired

The number they are using now comes up as a cell phone number that when you call it back says it's not even in service. It's 605-440-3245
Oshiwakka08
March 25, 2019
18003484058 yeah I just received a call from a robotic voice that said that my social security was getting ready to be suspended also this is crazy! but I know from the past that I've had some weird calls and knew right away to get on Google and find out what the heck was going on thank you
Dee
March 25, 2019
With one day, social security fraud calls from ‭+1 (325) 487-2349‬ ‭+1 (325) 806-4130‬ ‭+1 (325) 615-8949‬ ‭+1 (941) 762-0990‬
Dee
March 25, 2019
Another ‭+1 (325) 190-0548‬
Dzaretzka
December 29, 2020

In reply to by Dee

I just received a robo call scam basically says the same message except it's a female voice. Here's the number they called me from.... 844-597-2617
C
March 25, 2019
Received similar voicemail message from phone # 332-877-4245 in a male robot voice stating, "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 some suspicious activity so if you want to know about this case just press one...." Definite scam attempt.
C
March 25, 2019
Similar scam from number 332-877-4245, received a voicemail message from a male robot voice saying they are from the Dept of Social Security and that your social security number was just suspended and to press 1 to know about this case. Aware that this is a total scam, just adding in case anyone else has been searching this number.
Rabai
March 25, 2019
5 more numbers. All the same person All 24 seconds of voicemail 13251676393 11787869155 60787814324 1514878511 5127988530
Ahisib
March 26, 2019
I have received this call today and they try to I just hung up but in case if someone do get scammed what do they do in that case because they talk very seriously
Jaks
March 26, 2019
Had a voice mail on the cell phone from 877-633-1213. Not the SSA’s exact number. A complete block has been put on my SS# and any benefits. Watch out everybody!!!
SB87
March 26, 2019
Received a call today regarding suspension of my SSC and benefits via 1 (877) 900-1213!
add info
March 26, 2019
I have been getting this call several times a day, the numbers is comes from is 1-866-404-1935 or 1-866-404-1932 or 1-888-674-8564 or 1-866-404-1936. BEWARE!!!!
louie18
March 26, 2019
They called me twice yesterday and left the same robo message on my voicemail. The fake slow talking voice said they were from the Department of Social Security Administration Office and that they just suspended my SSN because of some suspicious activity and if I wanted to know more about the case I had to press 1. The number they called from was (281)-956-4122 (Houston, Texas). I ignored the messages, but really wish these people could be stopped!
rtutt553
March 26, 2019
Hello- we received fraudulent calls from multiple numbers from a 929 area code (929-589-7270 and 929-983-3114). Be advised that this is the same fraudulent robo caller! Stay safe everyone.
Juan Ortega
March 26, 2019
I just received a call for the social security administration. I was just a voice recording, I needed to press one to talk to a representative. I knew it was a scam because of the number: 1 (800) 772-1245 Add this number to the scam call list. Location of the call was unknown, also very suspicious. Stay safe everyone.
Anonymous
April 01, 2019

In reply to by Juan Ortega

Got a phone call from this number as well. Definite scam. They wanted me to call back at 806-475-4493
Redlady1
March 26, 2019
1-888-237-5156 middle eastern accent in a call center asking me for my private information. Just hung up. SSA will not call you and demand this information, they already have it.
Coachbud
March 26, 2019
Received two calls today. The numbers were 800 590 2899. 800 674 9656
anon
March 27, 2019
Got this scam call but sent it to voicemail as the incoming number said it was from Morocco! Here’s the number: ‭+212 5 94 97 76 8‬.
Dan
March 27, 2019
Just got a crazy call from 877-920-1213. Claimed my SS# is being suspended and wanted to file a claim and that there was a warrant for my arrest in Texas . Said I was involved in money laundering and drug trafficking. I hung up after listening to some of this ...............
Tucker
March 27, 2019
How do I get them to stop I have been receiving these calls every 20minutes
thatoneguy
March 27, 2019
Just happened to me, three days in a row lol. Spoke to the man and told him I was deathly afraid and needed help hiding a body too lol
Concerned citizen
March 27, 2019
Please I need to report calls that I’m getting from different phone numbers about my social security number being suspended, I have voice messages to provide, I just don’t answer calls from unknown phone numbers, so the phone calls go to my voice messages. I have been trying to report it, no success, very concerned.
ssamavedam
March 27, 2019
Got a call from 332-879-6530 (I live in NY state) that my SS number was suspended due to fraudulent activity and that I should press 1 to get more info.
multiple calls…
March 27, 2019
I've received multiple phone calls today from phone #'s with an extra digit - 212 590 25722, 212 597 95237, 212 598 78793 A robot voice stating it's the dept of social security administration and my ss# is suspended. I keep blocking the #'s and a new call comes in
Jason D.
March 27, 2019
Two scam numbers called me. They both claimed to be SSA. 844-844-0178 and 323-784-6373
fluffle
March 28, 2019
I also received a call about my social not being active. The robot message wanted a call back. I did not comply. The call came from 844-754-4635, maybe.
Cindy
March 28, 2019
I recieved a recorded message saying it was from the SSA stating my SS# was going to be suspended due to criminal activity and that i needed to press 1 to keep from being arrested. The number was 866-964-6229. I actually called that number back and it said it was the SSA in El Paso but the office was closed and it was after 5 pm. I live in a completely different state. Jerks
Tried&Failed
March 28, 2019
Just got a call from 520-357-4143 which is a number in Hayden, AZ. They are scammers that advised there was fraudulent activity using my SSN. They knew my name, phone number, and old address. They said my accts associated with my SSN would be seized and I asked for an appointment to speak with someone in person. They said I had to go to TX for that.... To get to the point, I hung up and filed a complaint.