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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 ftc.gov/complaint.

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8,513 Comments

NH (not verified)
September 17, 2021
818 659 5546 is another number to watch for. It's included in phishing emails that say they charged you hundreds for stuff you never bought. I am going to call and blast them.
kmel (not verified)
September 17, 2021
Just received a phone call from 507-487-4262 saying that my SS number has been suspended. I hung up when I heard it because I figured it was a scam but did try calling the number back but the call would not connect. The call came in at 10:16am CT so hopefully someone can trace it and get these people who are doing this.
D (not verified)
September 17, 2021
Just received a new call from 520-532-3899. Caller stated they were with Customs Enforcement and they just intercepted a package containing suspicious material with my name on it. Simply told caller once materials are sold, just make sure I get my cut and hung up. Scam call.
Johns (not verified)
September 19, 2021
I keep getting callls from 1 702 592 6623 telling me to Stop what is going on ?
Josh W (not verified)
September 20, 2021
Looks like they’re still going strong! Got a call from a 651-492-1907 number. “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 is 213-546-0766 thank you…” I looked out the number and the FTC came up. I’m glad to have found something. I have work to do, I can’t be sideways with this BS!
LC (not verified)
September 20, 2021
If the scammer is using the SSA actual phone number, why call back the same number? When there is a possibility that you talk with a scammer? Also, how can a scammer use the actual SSA phone number?
M (not verified)
September 21, 2021
253-392-0856 this scammer just called me watch out for this number
KATHLEEN POTTER (not verified)
September 28, 2021
The scammers saying they are the Social Security Administration are also using a legitimate phone # with the area code of 858-433-xxxx.
amazed lately (not verified)
September 28, 2021
I have received a lot of scam calls at my work lately from someone saying they are with the IRS but this is the first time the caller said they LOVED me and was trying to help. I wish their was something someone could actually do about these calls
Eric (not verified)
October 12, 2021
Just got a call from (930) 201-9209 an Indiana number claiming fraudulent activity on my ssa, pressing 1 afterwards will transfer me to a rep to discuss my case. Of course I didn't. Hang up.
RBGA (not verified)
October 19, 2021
Just received a voicemail left on Google Voice. They phoned from (580) 303-6397 and directed me to call another number. Any communications I've ever had with Social Security or the IRS have always been through the mail. "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 actions filed on your social security number for fraudulent activities. So when you get this message kindly call back at the earliest possible on your number before we begin with the legal procedures, that is 916-790-2295. Thank you."
kevin (not verified)
October 19, 2021
260-250-4551 telecommunication company blocked this number and showed it's a scam.
LIAM (not verified)
November 16, 2021
this number 1-857-259-0605 called me and left a voicemail saying “Stern department if we don't hear from you then we will be forced to take legal action against you press one and you will be connected to the concern department…”