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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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8513 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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Salty
September 20, 2019
Add this social security scam call ‭813-308-0955‬ To the list.
Salty
September 20, 2019
Add this number to the scam call. “⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ file on your Social Security number for fraudulent activities to get more information about this case file from federal database call us back at 813-308-0955 I repeat 813-308-0955 thank you have a good day…”
TooBusyFor This
September 20, 2019
1-800-810-1521 left message saying "All your social benefits will be cancelled until further clearance. in case you feel this is due to an error, you may connect with legal cell of social security administration. In order to connect to a social security administration officer, press 1 now. In case we did not hear from you, your social will be blocked permanently..."
Laur
September 20, 2019
1-888-744-8546 just called me and said they were suspending my SSC# for suspicious activity unless I talked to an SSC officer and When I asked for his Name and Number I had to call him back ... he wanted to know what as the emergency and when he did not hear the reason good enough he was so angry and I said to give me the number and name and he swore at me before hanging the phone up on me.... I have been getting calls for this type a scam daily.
WhatAnAnnoyance
September 20, 2019
I have received this call from multiple numbers (209) 129-9849, (209) 113-1799, (209) 170-2319, (804) 534-1740, (804) 546-2884, (209) 108-2911 today and from (209) 180-7876, (209) 172-6827 yesterday
Ise123
September 20, 2019
This is the number I'm getting calls from saying something similar. +18008534249
RNS3399
September 20, 2019
This is still happening....Received multiple calls this week from these #: 800-695-5523 & 800-070-9401. Robocaller said due to suspicious activity on my SS it is being suspended and the only way to fix it is to speak with a SS Officer. instructed to Press 1 for a SS Officer (I did it, knowing this was a scam) - I pressed 1 and a live person said: "Social Security - how can I help you" and I said - You can stop calling me because what you are doing is illegal and I am reporting you to the SS fraud hotline" and all i heard was "click" on the other end....I guess I was right! NO GOVT/Bank office will call you and ask for your personal info and it is my understanding there is NO such thing as having your SS# suspended!!! Don't fall for this & don't ever give out your information unless you made the call and know exactly who you are speaking to!!!!!!
MAUser
September 20, 2019
Got the same SS scam call from 800 088 2785
Dillon
September 20, 2019
I received a call from 469-338-4847 with the same dire threat. I’m 76 and could possibly be vulnerable enough to be victimized. Why can they not be stopped?
concerned citizen
September 20, 2019
I received a call regarding this same recording from two different numbers that had an area code from California - 209-093-1078 and 209-221-9422. I knew it was a scam , but was still curious so i pressed one. After they answered, I said "hello, thanks for calling you. You are on a recorded line". The male on the other end started yelling sexually explicit remarks. So, do not press one - obviously confirmed as a scam.
cmbtgb
September 20, 2019
I just received a call from 1-800-626-1525. The same scam. So, I let the scammer get on the phone. He had an accent that sounded like he was from overseas, and I heard hundreds of people in the background. Definitely a boiler-room! Then called him a couple of vulgar choice names and he hung up. I am going to report the number to the FBI website next. Jerks!
Bar Stewards
September 20, 2019
1 800 850 1519...just got this ..scam Social Security
Texasgirl 65
September 20, 2019
Got a call from "Social Services" saying my social # had been used in a fraudulent manner in southern TX. I should press 1 to talk to someone. I pressed 1 and got to a man with a foreign accent on the line introducing him as Officer Eric. I sounded as if I was terrified this had happened to me and asked what was going on. He said my name had been misused. I then asked "What is my name?" Then he hung up. Called from 949-395-3506 Laguna Beach, CA according to my call log. I tried calling back. No one answered of course.
Ronnie
September 20, 2019
Today ,Someone tried to scammed me in facebook messenger. He asked me to called 415 787 9275, agent James Terry. He told me that I have got the sum of $200.000 cash from Federal goverment Department of health and human service. Of course I am not a fool, then I searched the number in google.
CM
September 20, 2019
‭+1 (800) 380-8445‬ This number called with automated messages saying SSN suspended. Scam.
VE
September 21, 2019
7070225184 is a number that seemed like a very lazy attempt at scamming since it was a recorded message with the option to go to an extension number.
New Hampshire
September 21, 2019
These folks do not even get scared when you tell them they have reached the office of the FBI!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why can't these calls be traced? 888-668-5618 was the number
New Hampshire
September 21, 2019
I just got this call from 888-668-5618
Not falling fo…
September 21, 2019
Not falling for it in Surfside BeachThis game is been calling my phone weekly
ez
September 22, 2019
I get 3-4 calls a day about fraudulent activity associated with my ss#. Every time they call is from a different number. Getting very very old!
Eder
September 22, 2019
Got this text message and a follow up call from ‭+1 (205) 801-1111‬, i don’t give any info on phone, sounded Message From SSA: Please call Martha J Lee at 8002549489 ext.4861 Strange call on Saturday
Yelena
September 22, 2019
Got calls about "suspending SSN due to fraudulent activities" from 857-201-2510 -multiple times. And from 401-203-4854. Got calls from "officer Amanda Burns about illegal use of SSN on Southern Border of TX" from multiple generated numbers. Generated because some of them start with my town area and first 3 digits.
Brenda11
September 23, 2019
I got a call from 2104686202 it was an automated recording saying my social security is involved in a crime I missed the call its blocked from receiving calls on caller I'd it says scam likely
Olive
September 23, 2019
I have received calls from 603-756-6251; 347-268-1795; 800-892-2253 among others. All threatening to either arrest or file a lawsuit against me because of "suspicious activities" on my social security number and to suspend my social security number. I have blocked but as usual they find a way to call from another number
TiffBoog
September 23, 2019
I got a voicemail on my cell from 877-729-1610 but the message was cut off stating that they was going so suspend something and that I should call back. I called from my job phone and a lady with an Indian accent picked up saying "Thank you for calling Social Security". I hung up because I know Social Security's number and I know they have an automated number. You're always on hold for at least 10 minutes before speaking to someone. SMH
sarah
September 23, 2019
They called me with this recording/scam this morning from the NJ Number 201-441-5976. Be careful!
Concerned Citizen
September 23, 2019
I just received the exact same automated message to my cell phone on 9/23/19 in Chicago, IL.
Scammers Are A…
September 23, 2019
This is the number that just tried to scam me on the above mentioned SS information: 1-800-225-3113
RD2327
September 23, 2019
800-149-5504 just called again.
The heads upper
September 23, 2019
They tried to scam my mother but it didn't work. They said her SS was being used in Texas in and please push 1 to talk to social security officer. Please be careful.
B of FW
September 23, 2019
Our law firm just received this scam call today from 707-893-1147. When I told the man on the other end that we are a law firm, he hung up on me.
lkindia
September 23, 2019
I received call from 1-844-336-5979. look like scam call. Please do needful
J G
September 23, 2019
888 646 5420 -phone number scammers
ChrisB
September 23, 2019
9/23/19 1 pm just received a phone call on my cell from Mammoth Lakes CA saying that my SSN will be suspended due to suspicious activity - the call back number was 760-935-5810 BEWARE!
PlM
September 23, 2019
at 830am, I recieved 1st call saying my ss number has been used fraudently and to call them. 1158am 2nd call said final notice about my ss number being used fraudently. I did not and will not call back. Both times was the same number 410-538-2691.
aswanson
September 23, 2019
Attempt scam today using number 215-632-7973.
Lizbeth
September 23, 2019
Got a call Today from ssi saying that I will got jail if I don’t call back because my ssi number was used fraudly was a woman recording
phone scam 205…
September 23, 2019
I got similar message from 205-762-0528
fuzzy
September 23, 2019
I received a phone call from 1-800-166-6472 saying that my SS is suspended and will be blocked if I don't call them back. Please let me know if this number if from SSA?
MMatthews
September 23, 2019
Just received a phone call like this from ‭+1 (800) 430-1787‬
Chicago il
September 23, 2019
Just received similar message from ‭(800) 859-4679‬ . Scam alert..just hang up
NYC Sept 2019
September 23, 2019
Just now I received a call from the 1-800 number listed above ( i ignored the call and I immediately sent it to VM) and the message that was left sounded like a robot saying my ss has been suspended and to press 1. Thought I would report it here.
NYC Sept 2019
September 23, 2019
Just now I received a call from 1-800 379-8634 , since I never answer numbers I don't recognize, ( i ignored the call and I immediately sent it to VM) and the message that was left sounded like a robot saying my ss has been suspended and to press 1. Thought I would report it here.
I-Was-Just-Cal…
September 23, 2019
I just received a call from telephone number 1-866-450-2427 telling me to hand over my SIN. Of course, being from Canada, I knew this number made a mistake in thinking I was American. So, I hung up on them and called the number back. Turns out their mailbox got overloaded.
Sandra
September 23, 2019
I received a call today from (800) 534-3015 claiming that my social security has been suspended. It asks you to press 1 to do something about it, but off course I hang up and blocked the phone number. Be careful.
P.S.70
September 23, 2019
844-680-6274 Computer generated voice call. SSN suspended.
Marcella
September 23, 2019
I've just gotten a scam call from this number 209-738-1052 threatening of SSN suspension. Dropped the call and blocked the number.
TDT
September 23, 2019
Just got this same call today
Kllma5't use y…
September 23, 2019
I just got a call from that number they left me the same message that's on that recording. So sad there are such evil people
onepotato
September 23, 2019
Received such scam call from 618-094-0076