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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

Linn
July 05, 2019
Just got a call from 1800-748-3716 saying my SSN has been suspended due to suspicious activity and to press 1 to talk to a federal operator or my SSN will be suspended forever. So I pressed one and someone with a thick accent responded asking me for my information. I was looking up online the number while talking to him and saw that the number wasn't showing anywhere as a federal number so I just hang up.
Sugar
July 05, 2019
Beware of 972-619-8652
Msmith37
July 05, 2019
Just received this call from (800) 052-9225
JC
July 05, 2019
I rec'd a call from 844-361-5898, asking me all sorts of info. I hung up, did not sound legit. Scary!
Joanna
July 05, 2019
My aunt received a call, they gave her a social security number to verify and provided her date of birth. The call came from 949-799-4835. I called them back and they said it was regarding activities in Florida. But the 949 number comes up on the caller ID as San Clemente CA. They told her she was going to be arrested. She did not give them any information. The first time I called it rang 6 times and disconnected. The second time it rang through and a different person answered.
Hobbes
July 05, 2019
Don't answer calls from numbers you don't know, and never give out personal information over the phone. Also, don't push "1" or any other number if asked. That just lets them know they have a good number. Same with calling back, once you call them, you've verified a real number. I got the same social security phone call from 872-484-7213, and a woman's voice recording (with no accent) told me to call them with my social security number. She said if I didn't, she would "get me arrested." That is a clue right there. They all seem to be using the same script with improper English.
Heidizme
July 05, 2019
My dad is 78 and just got one saying they made mistakes and they want to change his payments. We pay taxes in USA you think they use taxes to make a better area of Aging and to stop scams like this..but no your elected officials get their haircut or shoes shined for free.. must be nice I can only afford cheap shoes that dont require shoe shine...we should not paid for perks
CZ
July 05, 2019
Recd vm telling me to call due to urgent legal matter. I called and the rep with strong accent answered "social security administration"...then asked for reference number (which there was none left on vm). He then demanded name and SS to "locate file". Yeah, right! Number was 319-238-4997
American Public
July 05, 2019
Scam calls are getting more prevalent these days and are becoming quite disturbing to the general public, especially the elderly who are often targeted. Our mobile phone companies/carriers should take responsibility in this matter and produce a free app that will filter scam calls. Back tracing is a simple way to verify if a number is a legitimate business or individual. What needs to be done is that everyone of us contact our phone service provider and tell them we are going to drop their service and find another carrier if they don't do something within business 7 days. If we ALL do this, the phone companies will see the billions of dollars in losses that are coming and take immediate action. We the people have great power when we band together under a single cause. Freedom from Harassment is our RIGHT! Call your phone company now and begin the fight to stop scammers. Tell them to develop the app! Or you will cancel service.
Dark Ages
July 05, 2019
I received a call today from this number 619-320-2718. This time the scam said they were calling from the legal department and that my number was suspended pending legal action so before it goes to court I need to contact them or else I would be arrested. These calls are very stressful. I really wished FTC could shut these scams down completely.
Smashpea
July 05, 2019
18888452702 This number just did same thing to me
Dinker
July 05, 2019
This morning I received a call from "Russell", an agent from Social Security. The phone # he called from was: 800 576 7618, said to call back, look for Russell. Also, he said that the FBI, and HOMELAND SECURITY was going to arrest me. What a joke. First of all, you know it's a SCAM when the dummy tell you to look for him on a call, what I'm supposed to be able to LOOK through the phone? Second, if the FBI and HOMELAND SECURITY is going to arrest me, they would not give me a heads up to run and hide. SO MANY SCAMS GOING ON TODAY. DONT EVER GIVE YOUR INFORMATION TO ANYONE OVER THE PHONE AND BE VERY SKEPTICAL ON THE INTERNET.
Lynda B.
July 05, 2019
I received this very phone call last month. I had to laugh at these people. They are not very smart. All Government agencies contact us by US Mail, not the phone.
SDM
July 05, 2019
Received a call that legal actions were filed under my social security number ‭+1 (210) 469-1718‬
vette
July 05, 2019
I just received a call from someone saying their are with Social Security Administration #512-354-7897 (Austin TX) said my SS# had been used Fraudulently and I need to contact them ASAP. I called the number back from a different phone(land line) and a guy answered with Hello thanks for calling SSA how can I help you? I just hung up.
DMCCANTS42
July 05, 2019
I just recieved a call and I had to call the number 9182034869 they wanted the last digits of my ssn I said no I'm call social security she explained that they dont no nothing about it my ssn will be canceled I wont recieve a letter but the police will be at my house today and she hung up
Gemini
July 05, 2019
Two calls today which I did not answer.If I do not know any number I never answer and let it go to voicemail.These idiots just do not give up!
mcase
July 05, 2019
Just received 5 calls from the SSN number...Asian accent. Asking for my SSN and date of birth.
Pinky2019
July 05, 2019
That number just called me and said my social security number was suspended do to activity why would any one call and say such a thing
Michigan Baket
July 05, 2019
I got that exact Call like recording while on VA-CA Only reason I answered is because some time when out of town credit card calls me Scammer, spammer # ‭+1 (800) 052-9225‬
Kimhuii88
July 05, 2019
Just had a call from this # 800-205-5018 it sounded just like the sample provided above. Be aware.
Marie
July 05, 2019
Today, July 5, 2019, I received a robotic call that said that my Social Security number was connected to criminal activity and that I was to contact Officer Ryan Smith or possibly be arrested. The phone number given me was 424-281-0251.
Don't use your…
July 05, 2019
I was just informed by recording that I got my social security number suspended m
KaBar 1990
July 05, 2019
Repeated calls from 4086185064 and will not leave messages
J
July 05, 2019
1-855-727-7931, on 7/5/19. Claiming to be the SSA and my SSN has been used in a crime. I spoke to the guy and once he saw I was messing with him he said Justin Bieber was using my SSN. We made a couple of jokes he laughed and hung up.
Luis
July 05, 2019
Don't answer call from this number. 1- 800-054-9225 Scams. Social security scams.
Carol H
July 05, 2019
I just received a phone call saying the same thing. "This call is from the Department of Social Security Administration. The reason you have received it 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." Came from phone number 646-481-2248. This is the 2nd call I've received over the past few days.
California retiree
July 05, 2019
I just received a call from 646-481-2248. The automated voice said the call was from the department of social security administration and that my social security number is being suspended due to suspicious activity. It went on to say that if I wanted to know more I should dial 1. When I did that the call ended. When I tried calling the number I reached a recording that said the Google Fi number I was calling was not available.
trav3388
July 05, 2019
I received a call from ‭+1 (817) 402-1252‬ saying legal action is been taken on my SSN to call back when I called back it was someone with a thick accent couldn’t understand him so hung up scam?
feel sorry
July 06, 2019
I recieved a call yesterday around 5:32 pm about a scam about social security and if I dont call them back they will take legal action against me the number that called me wea 1-877-876-3171
Bishop
July 06, 2019
Today I received a text from (866) 838-4072, the text said “Dear Amazon Customer, Your order has been placed successfully, and $469.00 will be charged to your primary card.” They included an order number. I after going to Amazon.com and having them to call me I found out this text was a scam.
Don't use your…
July 06, 2019
I also received a message saying my social security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity
bhnyc
July 06, 2019
Just received a similar VM today so it is still an active scam.
Wendyanne1969
July 07, 2019
I had a feeling it was a scam by how it was an automated message. Just didn’t seem right. It was in my voice mail to call. I don’t think so!!! I googled this and read it was a scam.
USA worker num…
July 07, 2019
I received a call from the IRS saying I owe back taxes it's a scam right?
Texas lady
July 07, 2019
I've been getting a phone call from 518-673-7061. Voice message says legal enforcement action has been filed on my social security number for fraudulent activity. It says before this matter goes to the state courthouse and before I get arrested I should all this number. ---- I'm not biting, but be aware. They've hit every number on our Verizon family share plan.
Tesh
July 08, 2019
I just got a call from 243-105-7240 with the same message. It said that they found suspicious activity and was suspended my SSN.
millerz1
July 08, 2019
Receive two calls today, one to my cell phone from 509-348-2720 and another (just after the first) to my desk phone at work. Somehow they correlated the two together.
Virginia Resid…
July 08, 2019
I received a call from this number. There are so many scammers that we never answer the phone unless we recognize the number. The caller left a message stating there was a law enforcement action filed against my social security number though the caller did not use my name. Told me I must call them back immediately at this number or law enforcement actions would be instituted immediately. Needless to say, I did not call them back. After Googling the number I came across an article that led me to this website. I clicked on the scam example above and the call I received sounds almost identical.
rosie
July 08, 2019
they just called me twice and told me my ss # is involved in criminal activity
Xina17
July 22, 2019
I got a call from this number : ‭+1 (800) 071-9213‬ with same message, I pressed 1 to learn more, she asked her about her name and number she sounds Indian girl and gave fake number and address in Maryland... Again this # ‭+1 (800) 071-9213‬
A
July 08, 2019
Scam call from ‭+1 (1) (811) 865-602‬ today. Yes that is the actual number showing
JAE
July 08, 2019
I just received the call from 240-367-9312 - what a scam..this is terrible but people need to know NOT to fall for this -
MD in TN
July 08, 2019
Received a call from 530-447-9190 saying it was officer Marie Gomez from the SSA and that my my SS# has been suspended due to "some reasons". They request a call back at the same number.
chris
July 08, 2019
got 3 calls back to back 1 800 297 8118 2x 1 800 462 3997 1x finally picked up and immediately hung up but your SS # has been compromised and will be suspended. SSA does not call you. SCAM
Marisela
July 08, 2019
‭I just received a call from this number +1 (646) 593-8977‬ and I let it go to voicemail and this was the voicemail they left . “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…”
Ed
July 08, 2019
Repeated calls from 1-800-006-4722 with similar recording. Female voice.
Victorious
July 08, 2019
I just received a call similar to scam example provided in this website. The call was made from this number: (772)276-6958. Now the $1M question: how do we stop these type of calls? Thanks in advance.