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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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Tinkerbell
December 24, 2020
Before I changed my number about a month ago, I was getting blown up with non stop calls like this and I would just hang up and block the number but they would continue from a new number every time. Thankfully I knew better and did not give them any info.
Gopackergo
December 24, 2020
How can I block my social security number cause someone stole my identity
old and stupid
January 03, 2021
My husband and I signed up for his ss. He got a call saying something about filling out a yellow card on line and a zoom meeting. I looked up number comes up scam . Being old and stupid I texted him no zoom meeting comes up scam. I am stupid then he had my phone number. Two days later on 11/21/20 I get a text saying Dont call my (curse word )number now you are being investagatedalso good luck!!! I wrote under the phone numbers what they did and now realize that I should not have. Since then my kids taught me how to block the number . Nest day I get a call at at 12.10 am from them did not answer on 11/22/20. My biggest fear is now they could be writing ugly things about us line. I have been terrified for over a month and dont know what to do
Don't use your…
January 05, 2021
I just received a text from a scammer saying they are a rental manager. They try to get you to fill out an online form. This is one of the many numbers: +1 (650) 239-8315
fred g sanford
January 05, 2021
anothe caller scam itsalways a scammer when the phone caller id will not display a namthat the phone is registered to just answer and hang up
Melina
January 06, 2021
I got a call from a USA786 number listed as "Unknown". I'm fairly certain it was a scam, but it called me about a warrant and fraud? Not sure..
Concerned Vet
January 06, 2021
Add 866-357-4461 to scammer call list
Awareness 2021
January 07, 2021
The caller was a recording of a male monotone voice in English, claiming that they detected fraudulent activity with my Social Security number and that they will suspend it. The recording was urging me to press 1 for more options. I did not, instead, I hung up. I received that call from this number: (787)372-4892
SS# Robo Call
January 25, 2021

In reply to by Awareness 2021

I received two calls today from different numbers. 513.388-2615 and 513.371-0250. Automated Robo calls from a recording of a male monotone voice in English, claiming that they detected fraudulent activity with my Social Security number and that they will suspend it. The recording was urging me to press 1 for more options. I did not, instead, I hung up. The fake calls are still coming.
Magbaby87
January 07, 2021
Just recieved a call from 6271863979 with recording about suspending ssn.
SacramentoArea
January 11, 2021
Greater Sacramento area, California, Scammer numbers are: (916) 567-6921 and (916) 721-7295 Why are the government so incompetent? Why are the criminals are not in jail yet? Do they care? Do they work at all?
katcorn
January 12, 2021
I received a text today from 855-952-3551 stating it was confirmation of a telephone appointment with the SSA on my birthday at 2:15 pm. I did not make a phonne appointment. It has to be a scam.
Me
January 12, 2021
I just received a call from 8801701245663. I thought it was quite a strange number. The recording said there was criminal behavior attached to my social security number and to call a 470 number that was said so fast I could not write it down. I will not be calling the number obviously. I blocked the number I just wanted to share my experience today.
Elizabeth
January 12, 2021
Got one today from +1 (216) 230-8019. They said exactly what this servile said they would. Watch out people and be safe.
Robo Caller
January 12, 2021
316-243-9214 Social Security Scam
Irene
January 12, 2021
I want to report a scam. I received a call from (510) 565-0142, saying my SSN is suspended. I asked to verify her profile, she told me her name is Olivia Turner, Badge number 7740201, Office located at 6401 security blvd, Maryland. She asked my full name to pull my profile, then I asked her to tell me what is the last four digit of SSN she saw on my profile, she hung up.
Momdeer
January 13, 2021
I can't believe I fell for the obvious scam on which I had hung up so many times before. I actually stupidly gave info away and have no one to blame but myself for falling into a web of a threat that was bogus. Now I have to figure out how to protect my small amount of assets. I am really scared because I can lose my house. So what am I to do now to prevent that? Can I get an answer that is helpful? Thank you.
PlanoTX
January 14, 2021
307-316-3507 Scammer with an Indian accent said he was from the social security administration and that he had an affidavit for my arrest because someone was committing crimes using my SS#. I asked him to tell me my SS# number, and he couldn't tell me. I called him a scammer and laughed at him. 2 minutes later another Indian accent guy called me, but from a Plano Police Department phone number and told me that they had a warrant for my arrest and I need to come down the police station right now. Apparently they are using apps to put any number they want into the caller ID. Scammers are putrid.
Concerned Person
January 14, 2021
Just got this call they are saying my id is being used for drug trafficking or money laundering exact same number say to call them back at this number
MDI
January 14, 2021
I received many messages using different phone numbers stating I have many infractions and lawsuits against me. This time the number was 816-296-6165.
P.DubDontPlay
January 14, 2021
Scam calls coming from 317-692-9821 and 317-692-5430 & 317-692-1403 back to back. Traced back to a Carolyn Morris & Melody F. Fisher!
RAA
January 15, 2021
I am getting a call from 800-430-0848, They call all the time asking if I want to return back to work. I have SSD .
zpariani
January 15, 2021
I received this VM this morning from +1 (415) 499-6339 San Rafael, CA January 15, 2021 at 8:15am. "To inform you that — department is filing lawsuit against you and arrest warrant has been released on your name due to legal enforcement actions filed on your Social Security number for fraudulent activities to get more information about this case file from federal database press one and speak to our agent now..."
Lisa
January 15, 2021
This number said he was a agent for social security and his name Alex Anderson batch ID 311986 and his voice sounded like he was from India and was very mean. 1-321-732-5972 1/14/21
MB
January 18, 2021
+1 (312) 651-4844 “This message we need you to get back to us on our department division number that is 312-651-4844 I repeat 312-651-4844 now if we don't hear a call from you we will have to wish you an arrest warrant under your name and get you arrested so get back to us as soon as possible thank you…”
Tee
January 19, 2021
I gotta call saying an arrest warrant was issued for fraud activity on my social security number
Jodyi kash
January 19, 2021
+1 (833) 770-0507 I just received this call saying it’s SSA
Mike Boudreu
January 19, 2021
Called me also today on 630-367-8182
J-Anne
January 20, 2021
I agree it is super frustrating to have an hour or more wait to call Social Security. These scammers can get us but too hard to trace. Isn't there a Victims Compensation Board to help with the scamming?
Dwalteron't us…
January 20, 2021
they have a new scam approach the say you are entitled to disability benefits even though you didnt apply for them watch out
Clinton Goodpa…
January 20, 2021
Got. Call said I must call right away about my social security if not they take out a warrant for my arrest if I didn't pay money and suspension of you social security caller ID reads Unassigned unas phone 984 2062809
Richmond, VA
January 21, 2021
I just got this call from 804-385-3951
Kevin cordova
January 22, 2021
(817) 663-9334 Scam social security
Bnspoiledizbk
January 22, 2021
(412) 682-7232 new scam number...
Bnspoiledizbk
January 22, 2021
Mine said my social was used in illegal activity so call to find out with what activity....
Moe
January 22, 2021
Got a call from 708-317-5109 saying they are SSA. I called them back and it goes to a voice mail like SSA does not have anybody there to answer phones. Both people were talking arrest warrants and FBI and Treasury. They both had foreign sounding voices which is another tip.
Zak
January 23, 2021
I just got a robo caller from 801-616-4264 saying my SS# is suspended for unusual activity please press 1. I had not had this before but it did not sound right specially since this is a Saturday and SSA is closed.
Raregem63
January 24, 2021
I received a voicemail just the other day regarding social security issue. Coming from my number 4706812465. Message is automated electronic message stating this is from the Social Security Administration please call this number and press one I repeat press 1 call this number.
Nguyen
January 24, 2021
This number 8173989782 called me on 01/23/2021 and attempted to accuse me
Sjsjnsj
January 25, 2021
I just received a call from (920) 627- 5294 telling me I ssn is suspended
Texas1
January 25, 2021
Received call from 989-857-8284 saying my S.S.# had been suspended. Press 1 for details. I did not respond.
gregg66
January 26, 2021
irs scamer 1 293 077 3516
Scammed1
January 27, 2021
Scammed from number 201-654-0410. Don’t answer.
Unhappy with r…
January 27, 2021
just received this call from 915-615-9653 which a woman stated that I was involved in illegal drug activity and my social security number was being blocked within 24 hrs. if I did not return their call..left message on answering machine
oiwl
January 27, 2021
832-933-7741 scam don't answer
Moo33
January 27, 2021
Got one from AZ number today. +15202212805
anon
January 27, 2021
Received a call from 1-812-380-1351 that my SS number is suspended
Denise
January 29, 2021
Received from a caller with same threats (918) 627-3976, when I asked a number to call back, I was put on hold, and then provided with (862) 362-3236.
Supermommys4
January 29, 2021
+1 (816) 872-7320 Recording saying social security has found me to be fraudulent