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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.

Adam
June 16, 2021
Received many phone calls with multiple caller ID numbers. Same voice. All ask for the same info. Tracked some to Florida.
Peppie
June 28, 2021
I just received robo type call from 941-882-3661 Venice FL, stating my Social Security Number has been compromised and to press #1 to speak with officer. I hung up.
German
July 01, 2021
I got a call from 4083865091 claiming to take legal action and asking to call back at 9704698867
Jeskac
July 07, 2021
+1 (786) 434-9344 This is a scam number also Call claiming to be Social Security saying that I had charges out against me
Pooh6299
July 08, 2021
(303) 339-3887, (303) 339-3192 these phone numbers called me today about someone steal my social security numbers. both time they sound like Indian call center. Please catch these bad people
IRATE
July 12, 2021
Just received a SPAM CALL / SCAM CALL automated voicemail from a " Sargent Shultz " ? ? from the Social Security Administration saying that my SS account was to be suspended for fraud activities. This message was from a local PITTSBURGH , PA phone number ( 412) 243-5478 and it was NOT from the SS office.
Tired of Scam Calls
July 13, 2021
The number 855-489-6602 called at around 3:40 PM CDT but did not leave a message. I Googled the number and was led to this website so I thought I would add my complaint to the list.
fedup
July 13, 2021
615-358-1467 TN numbers keep calling and I keep blocking. I just had 20 calls the past 1.5 hrs!
crstlgls
July 17, 2021
I seem to get these calls often, but I never answer them. Once my phone is done ringing, I block the number. I'm smart and know that Social Security will not call me unless I call them and reserve my place in line. So, I don't even answer these scam calls. Nor do I provide any information. They got to 1 sentence 1 time and I knew it's a scam because it is automated, so I hung up.
5beckybecky
July 20, 2021
If you listen closely to the call you will hear words that do not fit into what's being said. Example: we will get you arrested. Always ask google about the phone number. And Social Security never calls except when your first filing a claim, sometimes, but its listed under Social Security with an added department which can be checked out. Nobody but Nobody, gets a call telling you your gonna be arrested. They just come and get you. They don't want you to run....
greenisgood
July 20, 2021
Just received this scam call. The timing is strange because I had literally just given my SS# over the phone to my bank where I am refinancing my home so the call caught me off guard. They asked for my name and last four digits of my social. I didn't given them. I asked for a number where I could call them back and the person said it was a one-way line and couldn't give me a number. I told them that I was suspicious, at which time the call was disconnected. I quickly googled the situation and found this site. Thank you for posting this information! I can see how people get pulled into it. Be careful out there!
mcv0711
July 20, 2021
Recieved a call from 314 858 8047 asking about personal info and ssn stating she was from the fraud department of the IRS. Asked for money to take care of the issue and tried to aquire cc information as payment.
Don't use your…
July 24, 2021
I didn't get the information I was supposed to receive before the survey.
top39new
July 26, 2021
We move D while my brother was in the hospital. Thepension chevk was rejected by the bank. When he called to fix things the socisl security clerk hung upon hom because he paused to think when she asked him his address. We are now in a great deal of financial trouble because three monthe have gone by with no check.
Debbadoo
July 28, 2021
I Received a call saying they was investigating dept with Social Security office. That they are looking into someone stole my identity. Well I know its a scam right off. They don't ever call u!! They mail and make u a appointment. But I want to see where this scammer was going with this. He went on to say they found cars in my name in Texas. I just hung up and blocked them. Be careful all.
vmckenzie55
July 30, 2021
I'm getting calls from unknown numbers to me, with a person name. When you call the numbers back it's not evening the scammers they have hacked peoples personal phone numbers to call people. How can they do this?
Lydia
August 09, 2021
+1 509-593-0341 is a SCAM!!!
Senator
August 19, 2021

In reply to by Lydia

The phone numbers may be a different type of scam, one called spoofing. The scammer just sets up their call using the number belonging to a real person, business, or government agency to make you believe they are legit. Best possible way to avoid scams, do not answer phone unless you know the person (and want to talk). Let other calls go to voice mail for screening. Make sure you educate yourself on scams. Note: if they want money to give you a fortune, it is100% a scam.
ME
August 09, 2021
Got a call from 775-415-8531. Machine left a message stating my SSI number is being used in Massachusetts for fraud purposes. Go to the 3 credit bureaus and look at your reports because they show every address being used be "you". I have my SS number locked.
Ugh
August 09, 2021
Called with different number but callback # 254-267-8042. Exactly this scam. Be warned.
mycindynow@gmail.com
August 09, 2021
Robotic pr-recorded female automated message telling me that my social security number has been compromised and to Press 1 to get connected which I did then I get a male. They called me from an 805-500-8753. That same male identifies himself as office Tom shadd with social security investigations telling me all kinds of weird stuff mentioning money laundering and recoding our conversation and case filed against me in court verified my previous address and asked me to verify my last four of my social security number. I had doubts and asked him to give me his phone number so I can call him back and he did. He gave me 866-313-2533 and when I called that number it says it’s social security but can’t go anywhere from there like a dead end. I hung up on him told him that if I was in trouble to send me something I writing. Unbelievable.
axdoll
August 11, 2021
So I got a call from (323)374-1174 saying el paso texas people are stealing my ss, and using it. HAH. Fraud af. Im on vacation right now and picked up this dumb call. Please stop this.
Banner
August 12, 2021
(1) I received call from 1-760-646-8009 on August 9, 2021 and (2) From 1-325-392-3895 Ozona, Tx on Aug 12, 2021(Today) on my cell phone pretending from Social Security Administration, caller said about suspended of my SSA number.I disconneted both phones. I know SSA never calls people. Though this is kind of harrasement.
Babalouie
August 16, 2021
I just got a call from DEA 915-288-6549 from CHRIS ANDERSON badge 3156219 Stated my name was used in cocaine trafficking. Just asked for my name, and if I ever lived in Austin TX. I advised no. I was then told no charges will be filed against me. Very weird scary call.
YSoDominican
August 18, 2021
702-886-7846 left a message saying there’s legal enforcement actions filed on my ssn & to call back 202-900-7214.
Valorie G
August 19, 2021
Received a robo call from 828-446-8278 saying legal action has been started against my SSA benefits. I hung up.
Aggravated
August 19, 2021
979-733-3637 scam
casieleighcst
August 19, 2021
I just received a phone call from number (361) 749-0127 telling me that they were suspending my social security number due to suspicious activity. I hung up before pressing "1", but tried calling the number back and it just rang repeatedly.
RJohnson
August 19, 2021
I received a call, they said my Social Security number had been used and has fraudulent activity. They gave me the same address, 1245, east 16th Avenue, El Paso, Texas. While he was giving me the details of the so called fraudulent activity I was Googling, I told him that he was a fraud because I just googled some information that he gave me, and he hung up... Scam!
Senator
August 19, 2021
The key to stopping all such scams is for people to learn to remember one thing. Never give any banking, credit card information over the phone, email or online unless it is to a trusted company (like Amazon.com) and you initiated the contact. Remember, if it is too good to be true, it almost always is.
Jen Moore
August 20, 2021
Been getting these calls daily. OMG why won't they stop. It's always a different number. I wish they would leave me and my husband alone. Since the pandemic started they have been calling left and right. They are trying hard to rob people. Absolutely ridiculous.
KitKat
August 20, 2021
Just got this same message/call from 503-602-5844
MRDavis
August 20, 2021
Today I received a robocall from +43 895 9719154. Nomorobo app says unidentified. The message was choppy but spoke of urgency of calling back immediately or (garbled) federal agents and (garbled) will habe to report to feds and have me arrested. The +43 is Austria
Rando
August 20, 2021
+1 (281) 666-6366 This robo-person called saying that my Social Security has been compromised… Be careful of the phone number.
Scam calls stink
August 20, 2021
The number I was called from on 8-20-2021 (713-860-0586) was from Houston TX and basically said to press 1 to talk to an agent in reference to my compromised social security #. I simply hung up and blocked the call on my cell. I wish there was a way to track these fraudsters from the incoming #s but I guess scam/fraud technology is so good these days its hard to get recourse. I guess common sense is the best advice.
Dori Mead
August 23, 2021
i received a call today, 8/23/2021, from someone saying he was officer Nicholas Harris regarding my identity having been used fraudulently in Texas. He said to call him back at 1-800-772-1312 once I had received a letter that I requested he send me about this issue. The number he called from was 989-686-1654. I gently argued with him that the IRS or US Treasury would usually send a letter but I hadn't received one yet.
iuuiuiiytiy
August 24, 2021
got one from 9719014136
Scam SSN Number
August 25, 2021
+1 (318) 526-5887 Just received a call from the number above about SSN scam. I hung up and blocked the caller number immediately.
songbird
August 25, 2021
Same kind of call: #202 900 7206
Ladyykayy3
August 26, 2021
I got a fraud call today from the phone number +1 (423) 404-9806 United States
Will again
August 26, 2021
I repeatedly receive calls with a warning from a so called Officer Sarah Scholls from some legal office advising me to press 1 to address my situation/investigation. Upon doing so, I get connected to an individual with an Indian accent indicating suspicious activity associated with my SSN account and if I don't clear it up, my account will be suspended/closed. Without disclosing any information to this person (today it was a fake name of Thomas Shelby) I mentioned that I recognize this voice from many previous calls. He responded that I was very funny and after a few more exchanges I ended the call. But the individual had my name and address so they're getting it from somewhere.
John
August 31, 2021
Just received a call from this number today 301-840-8898 Like many others Jeffery Brown was the caller and I was threatened with Jail time and losing all my money. for Drug trafficking and money laundering.
Ned Kelly
August 31, 2021
Aug 31, 2021 I received a call from 482.281.201.62. They told me he was Benjamin Alpert, Deputy Inspector General of the Social Security Administration. He new my name and address, asked for my Social Security Number, Date of Birth, State of Social Security, how many vehicles I owned and Year, Manufacturer and Model. He told me that my Social Security Number was used in Texas for illegal drug use and money laundering. I knew it was a scam and continued with the conversation giving him a fake date of birth, fake social security number (which was the phone number above). After about 40 minutes, he hung up.
Canadian
September 03, 2021
So many versions of this type of scam. I have my phone set to silence every number that is not saved in my contact and constantly get this kind of recording that starts part way through since it's all automatic and doesn't wait for the beep.... Also I am from Canada and we don't have Social Security Numbers, they are referred to as Social Insurance Numbers... And if they are going to arrest me, I've been working from home for over a year and no one has knocked on my door.
Mimi
September 03, 2021
I just received this message from 754-200-8171
Ann
September 08, 2021
I get this call up to 12 times a day. I just hang up, SS does NEVER call your home. And Police don't call and tell you that they have a warrant for you. So wish they'd leave me alone. Gets old.
Auntiezeb
September 09, 2021
Every time I get a ring I don't know I let it rung out and then then give it a contact name (usually the date and time) to check on as such. I've found these same contact names often come up under different numbers. This might prove more useful than just attempting to block.
lakes72
September 13, 2021
i received a phone call from 404 840-4641
Blackbear
September 13, 2021
718-773/9010 was a tape recording like the scam call above. I didn't respond.
Received A Sca…
September 16, 2021
So to start off, I missed a phone call from a local phone number 520-234-7656. They left a voicemail which was robot reading a script that word for word stated "This phone call is from our department is to inform you that there is a legal enforcement action/s filed on your social security number for fraudulent activities, so when you get this message kindly call back at the earliest possible on our number before we begin with the legal proceedings that number is 919-695-9741 thank you" I called the number that they left in my voicemail even though I knew it was a scam just to see what they said. So some random agent answered I said, " I received a voicemail asking me to call back this phone number, what is this for where are you calling from" They stated, "We are located in Texas, then I was instantly transfered to a woman that answered the phone saying her name is "Jennifer Miller" she is part of the SSA Fraud department and that she is looking for "Susan Blahblah" first off definitely no Susan's here or anywhere near. So I said, " You got the wrong number and did you say you were with the SSA? She responded, "Yes" I then let her know that I know this is a SCAM call and that I am going to report them. The guy that originally answered the phone jumps back in on the call, then says, "oh were just kidding, im a youtuber. how was my wife?" I stated that, I know this is a SCAM and that Im going to gather all the info I have and report them. They then instantly HUNG UP! Scam over! Just wanted to leave a detailed description of the kinds of lengths and tactics these scammers use to steal from innocent unsuspecting people. The original voicemail if it wasn't from a local number would have seemed more legitimate. Red flag #1 When googling the number they left as a call back it shows as a North Carolina number which is instant Red Flag #2 There are so many other reasons this screamed scam at me but I know not everyone picks up on the details. Use common sense, be safe, research if your unsure, and if you really need too verify your okay, the SSA customer service numbers are extremely accessible and easy to find online.