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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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Rakii
May 22, 2020

In reply to by Deanna

I just received a call from 773-567-3698 with the same message. Definitely a scammer, Please be careful
Lanismom8912
July 02, 2019
I was told somebody rented a car in ny name purchased drugs in texas and my social was being deactivated
Magnory
July 02, 2019
I have received 3 phone calls today from these phone numbers. 800-354-0580, 800-089-1602 and 800-019-1893
Alex
July 02, 2019
1-877-207-5589 Another SSN spam !
Ksenia S.
July 02, 2019
Dear Jennifer my deepest appreciation for this article. Everyone here is another SS Scammers: 1 800-205-6537 . I just reported them and I hope no one get damage theur lives.
Ksenia S.
July 02, 2019
1-800-205-6537 . I just reported them and I hope no one get damage their lives.
Khaos
July 02, 2019
I just received a call from 12065820084 stating my d's card will be suspended and I will face federal charges if I don't speak to someone. I pressed 1 to speak to someone and did not get a live person just music. It was a robot call.
Gregorylinda
June 03, 2020

In reply to by Khaos

I just received 2 robot calls saying my ss# has been suspended the phone numbers are 606-516-1970 and 606-516-8277
Wes Sherwood
July 02, 2019
I received a call from a Florida area code (741)-803-4337 saying pretty much the same thing. My social was suspended and reported in fraud charges. This is absolutely ridiculous, these people are the problem with society. Scum of the earth.
Bebop
July 02, 2019
Just received the same voicemail. Pathetic!
Sunshine
July 02, 2019
Receive the same voicemail.
Kbogdanoff
July 02, 2019
I received a. Phone call they “tried to tell me” there was a arrest warrant out for my arrest because I had defrauded the govt out of millions in Texas.. Absurd .. I laughed at him he got mad at me Claimed to be A Dwayne Smith and gave me a badge number (412D4215.. asked me for my address ( said someone was coming by to verify my identity) I told him I was going to the local police dept to clear up the matter and he hung up ...phone number 5101127903. Of course u cannot call it Says disconnected
Peg
July 02, 2019
Just got fake social security call. Exactly what you described my , SS number got suspended. Didn’t answer so it left voice mail. Caller ID shown (424) 296-2556. Sick and tired of scam calls.
Jo Pell
July 02, 2019
I have received 5 calls today telling me my SSA has been suspended because of suspicious activity using my SS#. It came from a strange number so of course I have deleted these calls. Just wanted you to know this is happening.
Sebastian
July 03, 2019
My mom just received this call and she said her SSN. She is a little bit older and she didnt recognize danger. What she must do in this situation and what are threats??
Cece25
July 03, 2019
I got this call at 5 am i didnt answer i was asleep 13462857509 Depositing new message From our department is to inform you that there is a legal enforcement action filed on your social security number for fraudulent activities. So when you get this phone call kindly call back to us at the earliest possible before we begin with the legal proceedings on our number that is 346-285-7509 I repeat 346-285-7509 thank you.. Click here: 14699825018 to listen to full voice message.
James
July 03, 2019
I was just called yesterday and was left a message on my iphone. This call is from the legal department of Social Security administration. Your social security number has been suspended and we have filed a case under your name so before this file goes to federal court house for you to get arrested kindly press #1. The number was out of Seattle. 206-582-0084.
Star19
July 06, 2019

In reply to by James

I got this call from 206 area code in Seattle as well on july 3 2019. Called back and they said my ss # had fraudulent activity such as money laundering and drug trafficking. They were going to suspend my ss number. They were giving me addresses I never heard of. Confirmed the last 4 of my social with them unfortunately.
Mike
July 03, 2019
Just received a Social Security SCAM call from 201-252-5782. Sounded like somebody from India - my guess.
Diane
July 03, 2019
I'm getting continuous calls from different states with a number format as follows: xxx/205-xxxx. Texas and Vermont were 2 of the states the calls came from. I blocked the calls on my cell phone. Does anyone know how I can prevent them from coming through?
STOP These ROB…
July 05, 2019

In reply to by Diane

Check with your Cell Phone Provider to see if they have a Robo Blocker available... Many do and some are free. ... I activated the free blocker on my cell phone, and now when I get these SS Spam calls, it shows as SPAM and blocks the call from ringing on my phone. However, somehow , they can still leave a message--before listening to it, I research the number on-line, then, knowing it's SS Spam, just delete without listening to it.
LShort3
July 03, 2019
Scammers use multiple numbers to call from: The above voicemail in a different male voice came from this number: 877 - 562 - 9267 Fortunate that I while at work can't be on phones and must be set them to silent or vibrate. So this call went to voicemail. NEVER call these numbers back..always call the actual agency or bank directly.
NM
July 03, 2019
Got a robo call from Unknown Caller pretending to be Social Security. Says legal action is pending against me. Right. Couldn't block call cause no number was indicated. Sheesh, these scammers are relentless.
Joesecurity
July 03, 2019
I received one of those calls and I ask them if this was the social security office than I was going to ask for the supervisor to see if it was from them which I knew it wasn’t but I was never going to give them any information! They hung up!
Crissy007
July 03, 2019
That just happened to me today they told me someone was trying to use my information in Texas and ask if I ever lived at certain places I realized that they were going through in identity verification to try to obtain credit from somewhere and I told them I will called ssa myself and see if my ssn will be suspended. This called after being on top class action website and filling out a form
one_life
July 03, 2019
I received a call from the Social Security office Dallas, His name was Sam William Batch ID 9797108, case number DC701 with a strong Indian accent. telling me there been suspicion activity on my social. He ask me if the local office called me. I told them I have a fraud activity on my SSN. He said I need to verified myself. I ask him how do I know that you are real. I ask him question what is the number to his office and he wouldn't answer me. I ask him if he is at the Dallas office and why does the phone number shows as a Florida number. Oh and I'm in San Antonio. Is this a scam
Tired American
July 03, 2019
They have been calling me nonstop for days from all different numbers And leaving voice messages when I called back or actually press one to speak to somebody they are foreign speaking and very rude obnoxious horrible people I’ve reported them to the FTC and I’ve also put myself on the do not call registry what else can be done this is harassment and it’s finest form and it needs to end I will go find these people myself if I have to somebody help me
JoJo
July 03, 2019
I am getting repeated calls over the last few days (July 2019) about the legal enforcement on my social. The caller ID showing TX number 817-402-1237
candy
July 03, 2019
I just got repeated calls/vmail from this number (510)112-7904. Be careful!!
DJ Joe
July 03, 2019
Scam from ‭+1 (510) 112-7904‬ claiming to be SSA and my account is suspended.
Bug
July 03, 2019
Had two phone calls now several days apart @ 803-334-0235 & 229-518-3658. Both automated and stated my SSN was being used in fraudulent activity and that it/ I was being investigated by the DEA and the Police. Told to press 1 to talk to someone about the charges and that if someone didn't answer that I was supposed to call another number to rectify this. Automated voice sounded Indian or Arabic. I Hung up. Constantly getting text messages as well varying between shopper scams, pain medication scams and survey scams. I never say a word to these people. Was told awhile back not to say anything because if you say a paragraph or anything with some of the words such as: I, yes, have, will, etc... They can chop the audio and piece it together as if you agreed to what they're saying. Also heard you should never call them back! They can get you/ lock you or your number in that way. I'm going to report these and suggest you do as well. The DEA would either come to your door or send an official letter. The SSA would likely send an official letter. The police would show up @ your door. If anyone asks about your bank account information or calls wanting money/ threatening legal action it's probably fake/ scammers. If there is a chance it could be legit don't give your information out right away but call the official number and find out if it is actually legit. Be cautious. It could take a lifetime to fix what these people are trying to steal from you. Don't give them anything, just hang up without saying a word then report it. (Write down exactly when they call, the number, what they say, accent or any background noises/ if it's automated or an actual person, etc...) Think of this like witnessing a crime. You would get details like what they looked like, the car they drove, license plate and direction they went. It's the same concept but use your auditory senses and listen for clues. Let's do our best to catch these thieves/ criminals.
Block number
July 03, 2019
Is there any recourse? Can't the ftc block these robo calls?
FTC Staff
July 05, 2019

In reply to by Block number

This FTC article tells how you can block calls on your mobile phone and landline. For example, you can use call-blocking options on a mobile phone, install apps, or contact your carrier.

Raven
February 11, 2020

In reply to by FTC Staff

That's a waste of your time. Generally, the scammer keeps switching numbers every few hours.
Maggie
July 03, 2019
I’ve been getting the same call multiple times per day. The Google Voice app shows a country code of +51 which is Peru. I know no one at SSA is based out of the country! No way I’m calling them back! They leave an 800 call back phone number, but it’s not SSAs number. Caller ID shows +51 01127902 on every call in voicemail! When I look at caller ID when the phone is ringing, it looks like a regular US number area (510) 112-7902, but it’s not.
My daughter the D/A
July 03, 2019
Haha the end of the message... and we will have to arrest you.. So I have gotten two calls ( 510) 112-7904 on 7.3.19 which I researched and is an active SSA scam number... my daughter got the same calls, with a V/M stating the above suspension.. Funny thing.. She is a District Attorney.....
Jean H BoltonD…
July 03, 2019
I just received a telephone call saying that my benefits are being suspended for suspicious activity. Thank you for this information.
Matt Seattle
July 03, 2019
Seattle here - just got the same call regarding my suspended SS#. I keep calling back - 18004262028 - they answer "Social Security Administration" and then I start yelling at them and they hang up. What a huge scam. Losers.
Ray Ray
July 03, 2019
I've received a similar call as well. i wonder if someone is using my SSN & my identity to do benefit fraudulent activities... this is not the only call i have received, but prior to this today, i was receiving calls on some sort of law suit scam calls against me.
Concerned
July 03, 2019
This is a scam number that keeps calling saying it's the SSA to press one don't do it 5101127272 SCAM alert
805bkc
July 03, 2019
I just received repeated call from the following number: 510-112-7902. A similar recording about the suspension of my social security number was played.
Jamestown
July 03, 2019
I am getting calls from a 510 area code with the same sounding message but it askes me to press 1 to hear about the case. After 4 calls in 2 days, I thought it might be a phishing scam and the moment I hit 1, that’s it, they got me. So, I searched the web for a SSS scam and of course, this article came up! Thank you for publishing it, sounds like the scammers have changed their end up a bit...?!
Jco
July 03, 2019
Just received two calls from ‭+1 (510) 112-7272‬. Putting this here so a google search helps others beware.
slsroses
July 03, 2019
I just got this call from the number (646)358-6685. I reported the call spam, blocked the number , and reported it to the national do not call registry.
Serge
July 03, 2019
got calls about suspicion activity and suspended SSN. 6 calls from 510-112-7903
Bill
July 03, 2019
Same as all the others. Two calls within a few hours from numbers that ID'd as Texas: (817)-272-5792 & (817)-403-9958. I never answer unknown numbers. Both times a VM was left...about something (unintelligible) happening in Texas "so please in the order go ahead get more information to speak with the officer press one. Thank you and have a great day". Needless to say it's BS and I didn't call back. However, I did block both numbers and I am having a great day....unless/until this nonsense repeats.
Tina M
July 04, 2019
My husband and I both received the same voicemail this morning. (510) 112-7901 is the number we received the call from. Same recording SSN has been suspended and press 1 for more information. They called back and I pressed 0 and the call ended.
Alou
July 04, 2019
Same call still coming in: From 281 766 7670 this time. Three calls here to land line and two cell phones over two days. If you want to play along with them, they'll not be calling others, maybe. DO NOT give them ANY personal identifying information!
7/2019
July 04, 2019
This exact scam called all 3 of our cell numbers this morning multiple times