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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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8513 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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cstrang
January 29, 2021
I've had two calls today from what sounds like a robot saying my SSN was used fraudulently.
someone living in NM
January 29, 2021
I received this call from this number +1 (575) 677-0372
Jm
January 29, 2021
Got three calls early this morning. I didn’t recognize two of the numbers so I didn’t answer it. The third one was 19156156097 that has called twice last week with the SSN has been inactivated or something. Sounded like a scam so I just hung up. The first call was +1 (608) 747-4554 and left a voicemail saying “_⁠_ this subscription then please press one or call us immediately at live representative 1-608-747-4554 thank you…”. The second call was from +1 (575) 338-9268 and said “Social security administration on 575-338-9268 I repeat 575-338-9268 thank you and have a great day…” I’ve googled the numbers and none of them are actually linked to the SSA. I’m glad I didn’t answer.
Beachin
February 01, 2021
Received a call from Houston Texas. 281-271-3937. Said the were the SS Administration in Maryland. I said Really, and I'm suppose to believe that, calling from Tx. They hang up.
Alexx
February 01, 2021
+1 (302) 425-9884 This number called me couple time and asked me to call back if not they will send me in jail.
mamabear4
February 01, 2021
yes they those idiots say they are fom social secuity sorry i wasnt born yesterday ve blocked them these people need to get a life .
Scholar2021
February 01, 2021
I just received two calls today and did not answer them they left voicemails each time. Also have blocked the number with my phone carrier.
Megan
February 02, 2021
Received a voice mail today from 871 552 1322. Here was the transcript that the robo caller left... “To inform you that there is a legal enforcement action filed on your Social Security number for… Press one and you will be connected to a concern department if we don't hear from you the block permanently press one and you will be connected to the service department…” Knew it was a scam right away and reported it.
In
February 02, 2021
I just got a call from a local area code. When I picked up it was a recording of an individual purporting to be an officer warning me that there was fraud associated with my social security number and to press 1 if I wanted more information.
Tina1
February 02, 2021
Someone called me on. February 2nd. 2021. Claim to be from social security. and said. My social security number has been involved in criminal. Activity in Texas, and they will hold my social security until. I clear up this matter, than some claim to be the Marshall, the number they call me from is. 202-903-2921. So. I called social security they explain to me it’s a scam, they do not call
Rexicon
February 05, 2021

In reply to by Tina1

They called me today, a different number.
mamabear
February 02, 2021
I received call recording from 404-695-3487 claiming my SSN had been suspended and legal action may be taken if I do not respond; so I did call it. I actually called the number and a very nice gentleman answered and was completely in shock that his phone number had been "spoofed".
Dagwood
February 02, 2021
Got a call today from a 202 area code coming up as Washington DC. Saying I need to call the social security office immediately and gave a number.
ginaherms
February 02, 2021
Just received that call today from 817 590 0568 Blocked the call reposrted to NDC and next will be Social Security Admin, Sad thing is the fact that they may have spoofed a real persons number.
Scam Alert
February 02, 2021
I received a call from (682) 667-4015. It sounded exactly like the message in the above recording. Not long after the message, the line hung up. When I called the number back, it said the number or code I dialed is incorrect. The message was then repeated in Spanish. I guess that they're not usually expecting a call back and it's only for the monetary use of the first call to hopefully get the information they want. Please don't fall for it!
Mar
February 02, 2021
Received two calls today something about my social security asking me to call 202-953-9045 and 202=953=9081. It was a foreign speaking lady. I did not respond to either. These were from the Washington DC area.
alastriona2
February 03, 2021
i don't live in the states and i keep getting these phone calls. I was born and raised in Canada and I don't know how they got my phone number. I wish they wold leave me alone
Julie
February 03, 2021
They call me with a scam number 202 953 9169 Pls check this number
aw
February 03, 2021
ssn scammer call from 786-322-4012 (called 5 times today)
Brian
February 03, 2021
add 954-300-0146 to the scammer phone list
haterobo
February 03, 2021
520-449-3138, claims to be social security investigations, number compromised..etc,,,scam callm dont fall for it
Scams
February 04, 2021
I got a phone call from this number: 202 822 4965. They said my ss was apart of a crime and they would be coming after me if I didn't do anything about it. This is the second time they've called. Don't give into these people! They are bullies and are taken advantage of all of us disabled people! If you have any doubt, call your local social security office and give them a talk. These calls need to stop! Their preying on the helpless and its not right!
Ms Jackson
February 04, 2021
I got contacted by 218-823-6884 and it was about multiple suspicious activities and submissions going on with my social security number and my number could be suspended and put on hold. I needed to act immediately and press 1 now, what? Then I call the number back and it is no longer activated...scam.
annoyed cellph…
February 05, 2021
Just got this call from 202-272-0080. I just hung up.
Rexicon
February 05, 2021
I just received a call from 857-273-0760, said my SS# had been used in TX. AN abandoned car with 8 pounds of cocaine and a house rated that had documents with my name and accounts. They have charges on me and case. His name was Alex Morgan badge #SSA9372. Said he is an investigator for the SS office. Wanted to ask me question, I told him the house , car and the accounts are not mine. I then told him I am done and hung up.
m.s.
February 05, 2021
i'm getting calls similar to this. how do i report these numbers so they get taken care of? 1 847 542 1447 1 469 438 8052
Unknown local caller
February 05, 2021
This Social Security scam perpetrated from 2 different phone numbers at 1PM and 1:30PM on 5 FEB 2021 from (765) 331-3307 and (765) 331-3580. I hung up without listening to full recording.
hamecape
February 05, 2021
I just received this call in Massachusetts. Glad I checked. Phone number was +1-915-800-4262
chr
February 05, 2021
803-580-0111 SS scam call today from this number. I have no idea why I continue to pay for a business phone line, because the only calls I get are ones like this or some jackleg saying my Google listing isn't verified.
Chucky Shaw
February 05, 2021
Got a call from this number1-843-680-3820 saying its social security
Marie Young
February 05, 2021
So I received a call today with that same scam recording, this idiot didn't even bother hiding his cell number which is an account from T-Mobile located in Minnesota and the number is 320-310-3770. There should be a way to punish these evil people!!!
Pepino
February 08, 2021
Just got scam call using a D.C. number. I called the number (202-842-3232) and respondent said they are not SS office.
Anonymous
February 08, 2021
just got my first one today got a little worried so I decided to check it out online to make sure I didn’t just hang up on the actual ssa. im in a rental condo right now at a ski resort and they called the phone belonging to the condo complex. make sure you’re always careful about people asking for personal information. always be sure before you give important details out. stay safe out there
MontanaHolly
February 08, 2021
I received 2 calls one on 2/5/2021 and one on 2/8/2021 with basically the same recording as you show in your example.
Victor
February 08, 2021
Got a call from 617-686-8123
Scammers
February 08, 2021
I just received a call from 720-741-9793
Mburton
February 08, 2021
This number popped up today: 541- 379-2026. WATCH OUT!!!!! Such a scam!!!!
YV Steve
February 08, 2021
I got a call from (216) 702-7066 informing me that "there is a legal enforcement actions filed on your Social Security number for fraudulent activities..." Obviously a scam for several reasons.
ljjl
February 08, 2021
844-323-5898 Someone called from this number to my house asking for me, at that moment I was unable to take the phone call and the person on the call leave a message saying that she is from the Department of Social Security and her cal about something of a ticket. That I need to call her back to the number on my caller ID to talk whit her about that then she hangs up. It's seeing to me like a scam.
Opusx
February 08, 2021
How do they have your name?
Iamfuller
February 09, 2021
315-515-6808 was just used for this scam in NY
Lenka, United …
February 09, 2021
0740 895 9868 received call from this number asking for my national insurance number, because " it was involved in crime".
MCordova
February 09, 2021
I am receiving calls from 571-295-2392 and other numbers stating that there is fraudulent activity on my social security number and that my social security number will be frozen. I waited to get the other person on the line. I asked where she was calling from and she said San Antonio. My response was 'why is the number from Virginia'. I told her I had a problem with this call as I work for the AG's Office in my State, and she immediately hung up the phone. Do not give out your personal information, I did not give my name or anything else for that matter. Please be smart, I hope this helps protect others.
Erika
February 09, 2021
I received several phone calls stating my SSN will be suspended due to suspicious activity. I hang up the phone. I called back to the phone # 801-481-8262, no answer (of course) but the answer machine said that I can leave a message for Robert Davis. I have blocked this # on my phone.
Frans
February 10, 2021
I get a call from this number +1 (281) 636-6523 It’s looks different then before more organized .
CJK1960
February 10, 2021
Received a call from 229-213-7685/didn't answer. They LM but couldn't understand what the person was saying. So I used a landline and *67 to call it back. They said they were the SSA. I told them they should be ashamed trying to scam people. The lady then said, "yeah yeah yeah" and I hung up. Blocked the # now.
Concerned
February 11, 2021
+18705773420 this number is SSN scam. This is a robotic call.
Mbb
February 11, 2021
Received a call from 1 609 965 3085 from officer michael brown of the social security legal etc. I feel bad for elder recipients that will not realize that the call is a scam
Alleyezonme
February 11, 2021
+1 (662) 603-4856 Corinth, MS Scam - a recorded message claiming to be an officer with the social security administration.
mnm
February 11, 2021
someone called me today with a number 1 401 214 8876 telling me that me my identity has been compromised in another state and threatened me saying that if I don't give them my last 4 to get information, my city sheriff will com knocking on my door with legal action.