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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

Frustrated (not verified)
June 12, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

T he past 2 days I have been getting calls from a Washington DC number saying basically the same thing. The call a few minutes ago left a transcribed message on phone. When I call back, I get a busy signal.
Anonymous (not verified)
June 14, 2019

In reply to by Frustrated (not verified)

Same! I got 3 robot calls from different numbers from Washington DC saying my ssn is being used in Texas and to press 1 to speak to officer Amanda Barnes.
Florida (not verified)
June 20, 2019

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Just got that same call from DC, Office Amanda Barnes about my SS # being used in Texas
Anonymous (not verified)
October 03, 2019

In reply to by Florida (not verified)

I just got this call for the second time today an its coming from a number that has same area code an same first 3 numbers as mine it was a prerecorded message saying your SS# has been compromised in south Texas an officer Amanda Barns is trying to reach you press 1 for officer Amanda Barns
Anonymous (not verified)
July 03, 2019

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I've received this same call three times today. That my SSN has been used on the Texas border and to press 1. Two of the calls had the 817 area code and one used the 937 area code. I can see how some people could be taken in by these jerks.
Lrg68 (not verified)
July 12, 2019

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

My mom got the same message stating her SSN is/was being used in Texas and press #1 to speak to an officer. I told her that sounds like a scam, but it really upsetted her.
bg123 (not verified)
August 02, 2019

In reply to by Lrg68 (not verified)

I got this exact same message about my SSN being used in texas and asked to press 1 to speak to an officer almost one month after your mom. Clearly, there is no effort being made to force these scammers to cease and desist from preying upon the honest, hard-working general public..... SAD considering how many dollars honest folks pay in federal, state, and local taxes!!!
Bubbles Mom (not verified)
August 24, 2019

In reply to by bg123 (not verified)

I just got scammed on Thursday from El Paso TX. Lost $7,200.00. They said I needed to secure funds and withdraw all but #1,000.00 from my bank account immediately and purchase gift cards from different Target stores. I had received the same robocalls over the past 4 days and was on line with the OIG filing a conplaint when they called Thursday morning. The caller said they were associated with the OIG and I fell for it. The scammer identified himself as Steven Brown, badge @ 29937, with the Treasury Department in El Paso. He kept me on the phone for over 2 hours while I purchased gift card at 2 different Target stores. I can't believe how stupid I feel. I then drove to the County Sheriffs Department where I had to wait nearly 2 hours to give a statement. It looks to me that Law Enforcement couldn't care less. I haven't been contacted by a detective yet.
grandmadpth (not verified)
October 01, 2019

In reply to by Bubbles Mom (not verified)

Apparently some of my FB friends received messages "from me" telling them that I just received a big benefit from SS. Then two days ago I received a msgs from SSI in Texas 1-817-400-9117 telling me to press 1 as my SS number has been compromised in South Texas. Thank God....I'm smarter than this hacker.
Anon (not verified)
November 07, 2019

In reply to by Bubbles Mom (not verified)

They tried pulling the same thing on me today. The scary thing is they had my social security number, address, and full name and birthdate. It's starting to get scary out there
yiliana.bad (not verified)
November 21, 2019

In reply to by Bubbles Mom (not verified)

I feel so bad for you. This makes me want to cry because the same happened to me today. Gave them my socia number and then i was on my way yo target to put my money in gift cards. Halfway, is stopped and asked the scammer on the phone, how would i know this wasnt a scam. He still tried to convience my but i had doubts and a bad feeling so i got mad and hang up on him and left back home and filed a report. I feel so stupid that i almost fell for this
FTC Staff
November 21, 2019

In reply to by yiliana.bad (not verified)

Thank you for filing a report. This will help other people.

WTMA (not verified)
September 05, 2019

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Just got the exact phone call, hung up and googled. The number was (774)955-8958
Victoria C. (not verified)
December 13, 2019

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Received the same message from 2 different phone numbers within a few hours of each other. They both referenced Officer Amanda Barnes. 607-388-0678 and 281-429-3827. If you press one a woman with a foreign accent answers and asks how she can help you. I responded with, I don't know. You called me. She hung up.
S. ward (not verified)
June 24, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

Just got a call from 410-623-7000 on my cell from and at work from 2027885320 simultaneously saying the same thing. When I told them they were calling the DOJ Criminal Division Fraud section and the call would be recorded they hung up.
John (not verified)
June 25, 2019

In reply to by S. ward (not verified)

I"m hunting down these scammers. To be clear, I just called the 202-788-5320 phone number and the lady said they were a law office in California. So the number is a faked (spoofed) number.
JNWestmont (not verified)
June 25, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

I just got 2 calls within an hour from Port Arthur, TX. My Robokiller got them, but I posted this article to my Facebook because I have family that would fall for this. This stuff is getting to be annoying, to the point I no longer answer my phone.
Geez (not verified)
July 11, 2019

In reply to by JNWestmont (not verified)

I agree they are so annoying I don’t answer my calls either.
Fedup (not verified)
July 18, 2019

In reply to by Geez (not verified)

I also received calls from Texas #(940) 59-4250. I got 2 calls within 45 minutes of eachother. I guess they just keep at you as well as move on to the next victim.
JA (not verified)
July 19, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

Same thing just happened to me. Maryland number. Thank you for your comment, it helped me greatly
MissiKat (not verified)
August 01, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

Same here. I was using a visual voicemail app and I was able to take a screenshot and also block the number.
moonpie (not verified)
August 02, 2019

In reply to by MissiKat (not verified)

Got one from +800 0830088 today (08/02/19) saying my SSN has been suspended. I pressed 1 and gave a guy my first and last name. He then hang up. Did not know it was SCAM until I looked the number up. Should not have given my name. It's freaking scary and disturbing!! I hope my SSN and other personal info is safe.
Texas Consumer (not verified)
August 07, 2019

In reply to by moonpie (not verified)

I've been receiving a similar call every day for the past week (today is Aug. 5, 2019). The number is +1 800-145-9081. I didn't pick up but they've left voicemails saying: "We have been forced to suspend your social security number with immediate effect. Due to this, all your social benefits will be canceled until further clearance. In case you feel this is a _____ (inaudible) you may connect with Legal South of Social Security Administration. In order to connect with a Social Security Administration officer PRESS ONE. Now in case we do not hear from you, YOUR SOCIAL WILL BE BLOCKED PERMANENTLY. To connect now, PRESS ONE and you will automatically be connected with the concerned department official." I have never answered them and hope they stop calling me.
KEKE0815 (not verified)
August 13, 2019

In reply to by Texas Consumer (not verified)

I received a similar call as well on Aug 9th from 1-800-187-1908 then they called today from Aug 13th from 1-800-621-3034. I didn't answer the phone but they left a voicemail stating that, "We have been forced to suspend your social security number with immediate effect. Due to this, all your social benefits will be canceled until further clearance." I tried blocking them but they call from different numbers but I have noticed a pattern that the calls normal occur around 11:30 am EST.
Freds (not verified)
August 12, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

They called me today... saying my SSN has been compromised and whoever came on the phone said he was an SS chief investigator... I knew it was a scam because SSN office would not call to inform me they would send a letter on formal letter head addressing the issue. But I decided to play along and I chose number one. They said my name and I told him he was wrong. It was my maiden name. I said if you are the social security office you should have my correct name and immediately the phone call was disconnected.
ESS (not verified)
August 16, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

I got a call from 2142672248 saying my social security number is being misused somewhere in US. Press 1 to speak to officer.
Pam (not verified)
August 22, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

Also just got a ROBO Call from 410-702-5695 saying same thing this is the SS Office and your SSN is under investigation call back
Earl D (not verified)
September 23, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

I also got a call from the MD number 4108960964 saying my ssa was used in a scam and I would be arrested if I did not talk to their office. Craziness.
Don't go for t… (not verified)
September 27, 2019

In reply to by Ne (not verified)

Just call me and told me i was going to be arrested ssi fraud and when i called back the number was not in service.
Blarg (not verified)
May 20, 2019

In reply to by Pat from hawaii (not verified)

I got the same phone call today 5/20/19. From 4106094664. Said the same words, my ssn was being investigated and to call before legal action is taken. It was a recording and said to call the number back.
Robotcallssssss (not verified)
May 21, 2019

In reply to by Blarg (not verified)

I just had a call from the same number, a scam
Chels (not verified)
May 22, 2019

In reply to by Blarg (not verified)

I got the same call today on 5/22/2019. Twice. Once from Ohio and the other from Kansas. It has me all kinds of spooked.
hilsenberg2030 (not verified)
June 21, 2019

In reply to by Chels (not verified)

Hello yes I to got a call from saying my social sercurty was being suspened in no way say or ssi will ever do that they say that to us even never give out any information ever
Daren (not verified)
June 23, 2019

In reply to by Chels (not verified)

No reason to be spooked. Just a scammer and harmless unless you call back and give them any information. Sad world that we live in that we have to deal with this. I get quite a few of them as well. Just let voicemail take my calls unless it’s from a select trusted few. Just delete the message. The IRS, SSA, and your financial institutions will reach out to you via mail...not a phone call. If you do think it may be from a legitimate person, tell them that you’re going to hang up and call them back at a known good number...NOT a number the caller gives you.
LeAnn (not verified)
June 25, 2019

In reply to by Daren (not verified)

Thank you for posting your comment. You’re a voice of reason. Very unfortunate there’s so much of this happening. I too get many of these calls. Most of the time I don’t answer them. On the occasion I’ve answered, I find the callers to be mostly men with foreign accents that are bullies. Be careful everyone!
little old lad… (not verified)
July 18, 2019

In reply to by Daren (not verified)

I just got a call from some man with an accent who gave me his name as William Brown and a badge number 118526 and said he is from the DEA. Same M.O....my social security number is being used by drug traffickers....they had several people under suspicion who they were watching.....asked me if I wanted the names of some they suspected.....named my four sons! I told him I needed to make a phone call and would call him back. He suggested I use another number than the official DEA number because I might be put on hold..... Did not give him any info......Scary phone call....I got to thinking....would someone named William B rown have a strong foreign accent?
Florida (not verified)
July 24, 2019

In reply to by little old lad… (not verified)

I got this call on Monday. It went to my voice mail. I mean who would fall for this stuff. First off Social Security does not outsource to A India call center.
Peppa123 (not verified)
July 25, 2019

In reply to by little old lad… (not verified)

I got a call from a "Officer William Brown" who left a computer generated voice sounding message. I didn't call back. I googled to see if it was a scam and I see it is. I wonder how these people are getting information? I recently applied for a loan so I'm wondering if some information was compromised.
C6 Aviation (not verified)
October 11, 2019

In reply to by Daren (not verified)

I usually just google numbers. IF I don't recognize the number I don't answer it. Simple as. That's what got me here today, got a call from 1 800 065 7880 and this was the first result Google brought up.
Dolilaetn't us… (not verified)
July 04, 2019

In reply to by Blarg (not verified)

My call went by said it was a federal magistrate to get back to this agent we left the number but nobody ever answered is always out of service is that is that one of them calls or is that real cuz I also didn't get my check for some reason this month but they said my number be blocked not suspended
mejp (not verified)
May 21, 2019

In reply to by Pat from hawaii (not verified)

I just got a call 5/21/2019 from (410)609-4664, from an automated robot saying something similar. I pressed 1 for more information, was routed to a man with an asian accent, who had my first, middle and last names, with my address. He said his name was Eric Willson, with an SSM### account for my record keeping. I hung up, they tried callin me back 3 times from (410)4067798 with no voicemail.
sam11 (not verified)
June 25, 2019

In reply to by mejp (not verified)

That’s weird his name changed within 2 days lmao his name 2 day was John
wwhyte (not verified)
May 24, 2019

In reply to by Dido (not verified)

I got calls from California 310-601-8320 Monday; Waco, Texas today 254-307-7533; and Indiana 812-269-1038 all stating "Kindly call back to us at the earliest possible before we begin the legal proceedings on our number 812-269-1038 I repeat 812-269-1038 thank you" I called back and when the foreign woman began speaking saying she was with the "Social Security" and that my "social security is being investigated" I just laughed and said "oh this must be one of those scams, the Social Security Administration doesn't call you!" and the lady hung up on me. LOL.
I got a call f… (not verified)
June 24, 2019

In reply to by wwhyte (not verified)

I got a call from Texas today - 254-232-2495
ukorn (not verified)
February 12, 2020

In reply to by wwhyte (not verified)

Thank you for posting this, exactly what happened to me, two phone calls different numbers and they will prosecute so I must call them. After a long hard day at work it worries you because of being tired. I looked it up here and saw this, guys are awesome for mentioning it. To me it’s new I never felt threatened by a scam before. Wish these people could get a taste of their own medicine.
Ritz (not verified)
July 12, 2019

In reply to by Pat from hawaii (not verified)

I received a similar call indicating: ⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ security administration and the reason you have received this phone call from _⁠_⁠_ department is to inform you that there is legal enforcement actions filed on your Social Security number for fraudulent activities so when you get this message kindly call back to us at the earliest possible before we begin with the legal proceedings contact us on our number that is 202-380-9613 I repeat 202-380-9613 make sure you call us as soon as possible…”
Truckergirl 123443 (not verified)
July 15, 2019

In reply to by Ritz (not verified)

I just received a call from Texas 281 area code saying the same exact thing. I did not call back and hung up in the middle of it.
Jennamo590 (not verified)
July 18, 2019

In reply to by Ritz (not verified)

I received a call today from this number 203-701-7088 I didn’t answer but the automated message said the exact same thing.
ale (not verified)
July 29, 2019

In reply to by Ritz (not verified)

I too received this message from (253)787-5816. That if I wanted to speak to an officer to press 1. When I did press 1 the call dropped. I called back but it said I dialed an invalid number.