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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.
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  • 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.

Roberto
September 05, 2019
Call is a robo call with a robot voice wanting you to press 1 for info about a case involving your stolen social security number. I had the same call with different numbers: 1-800-071-2351 1-800-746-9557 1-800-705-6613
NYC
September 05, 2019
Another call from these scammers, this time and every time they use a different number 1-888-921-4743. HANG UP AND IMMEDIATELY BLOCK THE NUMBER is my best advice.
mary
September 05, 2019
This number comes up on caller ID as follows: 18-098-096-8795 is the scam above same recording voice saying SSI suspended and to call their office at once. I have gotten this call many times before. I put them on call rejection after 25 numbers have to delete and start the list over. Is so frustrating that these people continue to same others.
Christina
September 05, 2019
I just received one from 1 888 311 6958. thank you for posting this warning with sound!
SeaOfTruth
September 05, 2019
I received one of these calls from 1-410-747-8513 in Cantonsville, MD. Be on the look out for this number.
Anonymous
September 06, 2019
18000278754..social security number scam
TENN
September 06, 2019
September 5, 2019: This number called and left a partial VM 844-236-8304 stating my SS# has been revoked, and I have a warrant being issued for my arrest. Said dial "#1" to speak to an officer. I have several missed calls from various numbers starting with 844 in the last week but this is the first message that was left by one of them.
John B
September 06, 2019
I got 1 call in Aug from 213-349-3634 and 1 today from 650-204-7892. Both were the Social Security scam.
Dachshund mom
September 06, 2019
Message received from 806-589-0071. Poor quality message telling me of suspicious activity, failure to return call will be intentional non-adherence. Tried to call back twice, person not available.
Kelly
September 06, 2019
This happened to me yesterday and I gave out all my personal information and he told me to drive to Target and call him when I reach to parking lot .. that is when I called local police office
tim
September 06, 2019
i got a call from 1-800-772-8360 regarding my SSN being used in suspicious activities, the recording asked me to press 1 to speak with an agent. I pressed 1, didn't get to speak to anyone, so i hang up. I got this call 2 times in a row this morning.
DSof5
September 06, 2019
I just received the same call today from 888.998.9962. They left a threatening voicemail about losing Social Security benefits.
Lesley
September 06, 2019
Robo call today from 1-800-719-8291
Jean O.
September 06, 2019
I got a call from this number telling me that my s.s is suspended: 866-395-2935
SaraLou
September 06, 2019
I just got this call on my cell. The number is: 888-282-7696. I'm in Missouri so apparently they are stretching out from Texas.
Scamspam
September 06, 2019
Someone needs to create an app that can redirect the scam calls back to the scammers place of origin. Imagine the looks on their faces when they only hear their own voices. Oh, and scam number is 18001074677.
sm153
September 06, 2019
They just called me from this number: 1 (888) 309-3426
elana crump
September 06, 2019
Just got a voice message say my social security number is being used South Southeast of Mexico
VJ
September 06, 2019
This is has to be stopped. These calls are getting more frequent. Here are the numbers that I received calls from in last 2 days: 1-800-138-1081, 1-866-897-1585,1-800-916-2631,1-800-236-3474,1-800-767-1-0566
Guest
September 06, 2019
Just had this number call about an arrest warrant in my name. Total scam!
JR 28
September 06, 2019
Just got one too. Thank you for posting
Kit
September 06, 2019
Just received another call...Threatening me....that I was going to be turned over to the District Attorneys Office for prosecution if I did not respond to their call with-in 24 hours and that My SS# was linked to a fraudulent crime....this shook me up and ruined my morning coffee....when is this going to end! Enough!!!
Kit
September 06, 2019
almost forgot...the number was 844-742-4301
JLR
September 06, 2019
I have received 2 calls from two different numbers in the same day with the message that my social security benefits will be suspended if I do not reply. #1-800-229-2435 #1-800-173-8337
Against SCAMMERS
September 06, 2019
I received a call from 1-800-237-4815 telling me that my social security number will be suspended due to suspicious activities. This is the social security department, if you think this is incorrect dial 1 and you will be connected to a social security officer. If we do not hear from you we will suspend your social security and a your services. So, I dialed the 1 and I got a phillipino speaking individual. When he answered, I daud, reallyy??? Oh wow my SS number being suspended and a my services, ih wiw what am I to do? He replied, hiw do you know this? I daud because your message system said so you IDIOT! SCAMMER I'M reporting you all over social media...and I hung up, and I did BLOCK THE NUMBER.
Frustrated
September 06, 2019
Sept.6,2019 Just received a call from 888-904-7732. They were threatening that my Social Security was being suspended.
Syl
September 06, 2019
I got five phone calls about social security number from (202) 7368337, (819) 3458635 and (469)251 1115... what is better to do
Margot2000
September 06, 2019
I received a call on Friday morning at 10:18. The only information I have is that call came from Glen Burnie (410)424-____. I didn't pick up, when I listened to the voicemail message, it was a woman saying I have suspicious activity in Texas. And that my SS benefits will be suspended. I've never been to TX in my life.
dinomite77
September 06, 2019
Just got a call saying activity on your social security card call now before you are arrested. Phone _ 800- 794/1875
Person in Texas
September 06, 2019
I got the same type of threat from 346-201-3732.
Wishtheywouldstop
September 06, 2019
I received a call today from the number 1-210-418-2165 (San Antonio Texas) saying that there has been a legal enforcement action filled on my social security number for fraudulent activities, so before this matter goes to the state courthouse and i get arrested i need to call this number for more information. This is the 2nd time i have received this type of call, and both times it is a automated voice message and they have both been out of Texas numbers. I have no reason to believe that i have done anything, but none the less, what if someone would think they have and then the scam starts. Getting so tired of the scammers.
Dianne0720
September 06, 2019
They just called me from 1 800 524-7367.....I hit 1 and it took me to "Officer A. Johnson"....a man with a heavy foreign accent. He wanted my full name etc.....Of course I hung up
Rommy
September 06, 2019
Two calls from: 1-800-995-2512 y 1-800-861-0956 Both said that my number going to be suspended for suspicious activity
JBE
September 06, 2019
I've been getting calls like this relentlessly for the last couple days, from 800- numbers. They leave a message like this: "In case you feel this is due to an error, you may connect with legal sell-of(?) social security administration. In order to connect with a social security administration officer, press 1 now. In case we did not hear from you, your social will be blocked permanently. To connect with the officer now press 1 and your will be automatically be connected for the concern departments. We did not receive any input. Dear citigen (?), in order to speak with social security personal, regarding the social security, press 1 and this automated system will connect you with the officials. Press 1 now to connect." (Note the terrible grammar.)
Bob
September 06, 2019
888 376 5408 telling me that my ssn has been compromised and call them. Didn't and won't. SSN never calls and asks for money over the phone.
be aware
September 06, 2019
Got a call from this number ‭(960) 202-7401‬ Saying there’s a warrant for my arrest due to illegal activities affiliated with my ss number, I laughed so hard!
beepbop85
September 07, 2019
I got a call today where they would repeat their phone number and saying they needed me to verify the last 4 digits of my social so they can better exist me with my “issue” and if I didn’t respond they would issue an arrest warrant on my name.
Chanda
September 07, 2019
I recently received a call my cell flagged as a suspected scam or fraud caller. I didn't take the call and they left a voice message informing me my Social Security number would be suspended and there was a warrant out for my arrest. The message was also clearly from a robo-caller, the voice was generated and not an actual person. The number they called from was 1-(971) 803-4449.
Chris
September 07, 2019
Got a phone call saying they were blocking my ssn and DL number it was left on my voice mail
User
September 07, 2019
Received scam call from 4307552413: The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that there are legal enforcement actions filed against you and your Social Security number has been suspected fraud or fraudulent activities. So once you get this message, kindly call us back as soon as possible on the same number, or press one to speak to our investigating officer. Thank you.
Katwags
September 07, 2019
I am getting text messages from 844 775 0376 with a ID number 9IY1EHFL. The message is that they are going to increase my benefits
JCot
September 07, 2019
Received a call from 302-808-9692. They stated suspicious activity with my social security number. Wanted me to press 1.
GarryMarcell
September 07, 2019
they called me today, but i know ssn cant be suppened
Tim
September 07, 2019
Same to me in Orange County, CA. Fake SSA Phone number: 1-800-301-6833
Carolina
September 09, 2019
I have been receiving the threatening social security calls for a while. It is a recorded woman and she leaves the number 215-948-5948. The shtick is that my 'social' will be suspended because of 'illegal activities!' What a pain in the neck! This last message came at 11:44 p.m.
lisadlow32
September 09, 2019
Just got one of these calls from the phone number 1-800-772-2921. Women's auto voice saying there was criminal activity associated with my social.
Hero
September 09, 2019
Today, September 9th, 2019 my mother received a call from 571-389-7073 and someone claimed that he is from the Social Security Administration and told her that they will file a claim against her because there is an illegal activity related to her Social Security Number. My mother gave him my phone number and told him to call me because I am legally in charge of her. He also took my mother’s address and said that he will send her a letter about the case.