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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.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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.

Block the scammer
June 11, 2019
This is the # leaving me this same message today. I did not call back of course but blocked the number. A second call 5 hours later. ‭+1 (877) 954-7632‬ ‭+1 (877) 876-9345‬
mbsw
January 06, 2020

In reply to by Block the scammer

The caller said my ssn had been used fraudulently used at the south Texas border. I didn't give them a chance to say any more.... I hung up.
2020 scam
January 22, 2020

In reply to by mbsw

502-592-8849 544-347-0862 579-487-7171 791-172-6921 A robot keeps calling and leaves a message- Purpose of the call we are trying to reach you to let you know that your SS# is been used for some kind of fraudulent activities in the south border of Texas so please in the order go get more information to speak with an officer press 1 and I repeat press 1. Thank you have a great day.
H
June 11, 2019
I received a call from ‭+1 (718) 703-2356‬, they left a vm saying my ssn was suspended. The grammar was poor so I knew it was a scam. Made me really anxious, tho, thinking someone would do this and was there any truth in it. Glad I googled it before I did anything else
david
June 11, 2019
3 VM today saying my SSN is suspended d/t suspicious activity. I had another IRS scam attempt several months ago so was suspicious. Number on my caller ID can from 828-865-6141, then 828-865-6136 then 828-865-6107 then 626-988-8357 then 864-718-135 then 202-955-7752 then 202-455-8888. Be aware!
CMIK
June 11, 2019
Received two calls alerting me my SSN had been suspended from North Carolina (828) 865-6136. Last call at 3 pm west coast time, 6pm east coast. Scammers putting in OT to assist you losing your money.
DCRARY
June 11, 2019
It happened to me today in Maine in the afternoon. I dont usually answer any calls I dont know but I was waiting for an important delivery for a friend so was caught off guard. The number on my caller id read Florida. Could barely understand the woman who said she was officer number such-and-such and was calling because my ssn was being suspended due to suspicious activity. Luckily Im aware of the ridiculous amount of scamming going on out there but it still totally disturbed me. The phone number was 813-580-8519.
doodlesdad
June 12, 2019
this is definitely a scam. I let them speak, asked for my ss# then i asked why if they were social security why don't they have it. asked for their name and badge #, they quickly hung up
hp
June 12, 2019
We received a call from 401-891-5708, stating the ssn was in jeopardy of being suspension and unless we pressed one to speak to someone, we were also in jeopardy of being summonsed by the court and going to jail.
cha
June 12, 2019
I have received 3 calls & msgs with the same info re ss# suspended for suspicious activity. Same phone # as ssa in boone, nc. They are persistent!!! Do not fall for this. The SSA does not call you unless you make the first call!!!
Happijoy
June 12, 2019
June 12th 2018 Phone Number 1-800-858-2904 Received today please be careful it is a fraud.
Joyfully Blessed
June 12, 2019
I just received a call today. But recognized it sounded like a scam and immediately researched and found these posts. This is awful - I pray authorities zone in on these criminals, so sad and aggravating as it is an invasion of privacy.
Cheryl Hess
June 12, 2019
I got a call saying that my social security card was suspended I need to do something about it
Covewiz
June 12, 2019
I'm getting them every day now, two in the last hour.
Help
June 12, 2019
I got a VM from 518-638-5250. Saying: "Thank you this call is from the Department of Social Security administration the reason you have been called from our department is to inform you that we just suspend your SS# because we found some suspicious activity so if you want to know about this case just press one Thank you." Is this a scam?
Dee
June 12, 2019
888-291-1299 another call from this SSI Scammers saying that you will be arrested, ha ha the joke on them, don't ever fall for these calls it's all fraud!
Sara M
June 12, 2019
I have gotten several vociemails from various numbers telling me my Social Security number has been suspended and to press one. Calls from Falls Church, VA/ Orange,TX/Unknown/ Las Vegas,NV/ 2 different (800) numbers for the last few months. I'm glad I looked this up.
Nazmy
June 12, 2019
I have been receiving calls from several numbers, one being (205) 3044144, telling me that IRS is going to block my social security number because they have found out some irregularities against my driving license. When they asked to call back immediately, I did so out of curiosity and the moment I told them I don't even own a social security number ..what are you talking about? They curt the line. But the calls are never-ending. I keep getting them at my busiest hours from different numbers.
Jaguarcat7
June 12, 2019
I was just looking through all of the comments and one commenter - LuLuLee - got calls from the exact number that I did. One of the numbers is: 833-268-3758. The other one is: 833-684-3182. Luckily I use the same rules as a previous poster: I NEVER, and I mean NEVER answer if is a number I do not recognize. It’s more rooted to the fact that I HATE phones and talking on the phone, rather than avoiding a scam. I entered the numbers I got calls from into the search engine. The number ending in 3758 was confirmed as a scam and a “do not answer” comment. The number ending in 3182 was being investigated but in all likelihood was also a scam. I think the fact that I rarely answer the phone is what kept me from being called several times per day like some of the other posters. My first clue was that the caller referring to the Social Security Administration referred to it as, “the Department of Social Security”. Also your SSN is pretty much assigned to you for life. They do NOT suspend it because it is tied to YOUR ID permanently until you die. I”ll continue to NOT answer. I also made a list of all the scam numbers reported here so I can hopefully avoid most of those calls. Best thing to do - DO NOT ANSWER THESE CALLS AND CERTAINLY DO NOT RETURN THE CALLS IF A MESSAGE IS LEFT. Also the Social Security Administration does NOT call you for that or most other reasons. The only time they call is if you have a phone appointment with them to assist with Medicare enrollment (which I do) or need assistance with other documentation. I agree with many other posters who are asking why the phone companies and/or the government aren’t making any effort to stop these calls. They should, at the very least inactivate numbers that have been shown to be scams.
AB7576
June 12, 2019
Got a call from Pennsylvania. Man with foreign accent says I had reached the Social Security Administration office and the desk of a person but I could not understand what he was saying. I asked him when did Social Security start calling people. He abruptly hung up after I informed him that the Social Security Administration does not call people. No one would answer when I tried calling back.
Raiderrrb
June 12, 2019
Just got this today .. I knew it was a scam by the wording.."If you want to know about this case just press one thank you. 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 suspend your social security number because we found some suspicious activity. So if you want to know about this case just press one thank you."
rex
July 12, 2019

In reply to by Raiderrrb

I've been getting this exact call every 20 minutes all day from various non existent numbers. So annoying.
dmc
June 12, 2019
I got a call from 518-638-7260 that was a scam too. Watch out and don't believe anything until you verify it's legit. Scammers are horrible.
anonymous25
June 12, 2019
Robo message with odd breaks: Hi. This is officer Jennifer Walker calling 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 action filed on your social security number. For more information kindly call back at the earliest possible convenience before we begin with legal proceedings. 860-484-7328. Thank you and have a nice day.
crzybunyldy
June 12, 2019
Just got a call from a 202 (Washington DC) area code saying my SSN used in 'suspicious activity near the Texas border'. Guess they're going targeting people who are afraid of immigrants stealing identities/SSNs.
scam
December 11, 2019

In reply to by scamhater

Just got the same one as well; their robo call doesn't even speak with proper grammar.
adidas
June 12, 2019
i just got a call and i went off and laughed hung up looked it up sure enough a scam wow this is getting ridiculous few times a week anymore 1 800 200 2946 he got mean with me and tried to scare me but it made no sense at all
Maria
June 12, 2019
Call from Fremont, California - 510-657-5140. Called me six times today! I pressed 1 just to hear what they would say. I pretended that I couldn't hear well - lady got very angry and hung up. LOL!
Paige
June 12, 2019
Same or similar robocall from (510) 657-5126 in Fremont, CA, twice; and then (828) 865-6105 in Boone, North Carolina.
1whotravels
June 12, 2019
These people call me several times but never left a message. I do know it will never be the Social security Administration because they will never call you about you're social security number. These debit collectors, robo callers and fraudulent callers are very frustrating and seriously getting out of control
Ugh!
June 12, 2019
Same here. I just got a call today from (518)638-4202 (at least that's what showed up on caller ID). I could barely understand the guy. He said his name was Robin Ray and he was the senior officer with SS Admin. Yeah right! I hung up when he asked me for my SS# to verify the info in his file. Crazy scammers!
Monsterfish
June 12, 2019
I received this call today . 6/12/19 . I didn't answer but they left a voice message allmost identical to the sample .
A lane
June 13, 2019
Got a call from 724 571 2302. It was a recording on my voice mail stating that my SS# was going to have actions against it and to call back before legal proceedings against me were filed. BS!!!! Scam. Don't fall for it.
tgeld
June 13, 2019
Received a robocall call from phone number 180-003-1484 on 6-14-19 saying my social security number had been suspended due to it being found in suspicious activity, and to press 1 to enter my social to reactivate.
Colorado Woman
June 13, 2019
For the past two days, I have been getting calls from 866-752-0973 about my ssn being suspended. It's the same message that others have received. I never answer my landline or my cell phone if I don't recognize the number, and I have deleted these scam messages. I worry about elderly people, people who aren't fluent in English and those who are not savvy about phone scams. It's not fair that anyone should be victimized by these lowlifes.
Caroline
June 13, 2019
I just received a phone call from someone claiming to be from SSA. they called from phone number 1800-111-7213. The computer caller stated that my SS have been used in unusual manner and they will closed and terminate my social security number. The caller stated to Press 1 to talk to a representative so I won't lose all my social security benefits. Off course I hang up and tried to notify the SSA w/o success.
Heather H
June 13, 2019
Rcvd this message from the number in the message “If you need to speak to a Social Security administration _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ if you missed your call our call back number is 484-664-2874 I _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ number to the importance of the Social Security administration department is 484-664-2874 do not disregard this message and call back immediately asked this is very serious matter goodbye…”
billy
June 13, 2019
I also got a scam call from someone trying to get me to call back. The displayed telephone number matched the requested return number. This is what it sounded like. "DEPT FILING LAWSUIT AGENT YOU. ARREST WARRANT FILE UNDER YOUR NAME ILLEGAL ENFORCEMENT ACTION FILED ON YOUR SSN FOR FROZEN ACTIVITY. TO GET MORE INFO ABOUT CASE AND ARREST WARRANT FROM FEDERAL DATABASE 1-800-941-0939. SS DEPUTY OFFICER WAITING FOR YOUR CALL BACK."
DW
June 13, 2019
I keep getting calls at least once a day, usually 2 to 3 times a day. Different numbers. Some are on the other posts below, with 202 area code. Today it was 888-964-5608. Same computer generated make voice. Same message of taking me before a federal magistrate and grand jury. Than goodness for robo blockers
Hello
June 13, 2019
Just received a scam voicemail from 510-112-7150, Oakland, CA: “This call is from the Department of social security administration the reason you have received a phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspend your Social Security number because we found some suspicious activity so if you want to know about this case just press one thank you…”
Don't use your…
June 13, 2019
Just got a call from 8007760009, telling my my SS# is being used at the southern border. Press 1 to speak with an investigator. I hung up.
CosmicTheater
June 13, 2019
Just got this same call yesterday. They called 5 times in 6 hours. All were from Fremont, CA numbers.
Alive and well
June 13, 2019
They are using this number and 8007760009 in just the last hour. BEWARE.
Virg1980
June 13, 2019
They just called me today, but when I called the number it said disconnected. I knew it was a scam but they kept calling all day.
sri
June 13, 2019
Just had a scam call from 800-162-7213.
California
June 13, 2019
I got a call from 1-800-772-1213 called it back and it was no longer in service but they keep calling me even if o block the number
California
June 13, 2019
I got a call from 1-800-772-1213 called it back and it was no longer in service but they keep calling me even if o block the number