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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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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
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Fin
September 23, 2019
I just received the call and ignored it after listened about 30 seconds.
bgunns
September 23, 2019
I received a call from 210 468 7512 left a msg on mu machine that my ss has suspicious activities and call to avoid me getting arrested. Scam. I block many of this phone numbers, but each time they change to a new number.
RDL
September 23, 2019
Recieved 2 calls from 260-994-0615 female computer generated voice, telling me that my SS Number has been blocked / locked. To press 1 now to speak to an officer. They left that message on my voice mail. I never answered the call in first place.
Nboss126
September 23, 2019
I just got such a scam call. The number was 866-836-4222. Do not answer this!
Robert
September 23, 2019
Telephone number +18773195707 called attempting to obtain my SSN. This telephone number did exactly what the recording above played out at 7:29 PM on September 23, 2019.
socialsecurityus
September 24, 2019
Social security scams often results in identity theft that is a serious threat. I, personally have faced this situation where I've faced these calls on the name of SSA. They have threaten me by saying my card is going to block if i don't provide my card number. One must report in nearest social security office or local police station for this issue.
tomkoh
September 24, 2019
Another scam call with a noisy background 510-650-4663
sricha
September 24, 2019
Just got a phone call from 443-205-1638 saying my social security was in jeopardy due to criminal activity and to with press 1 to speak with a supervisor or call them back.
CazK
September 24, 2019
I just got a call that sounded very similar. It was not exactly how it sounded above but very close. Told me to press one to get through to an officer. I hung up obviously 1 (416)2160424
KAU
September 24, 2019
My wife just received a scam call and was smart enough to pass it over to me. English isn't her native language, but she recognized that it was a potential scam. We cannot rely on the government to somehow find the scammers who succeed in cheating people out of their money and recovering their lost funds. While I certainly feel badly for their loss, these scams are not new and government agencies do what they can to increase awareness. Ultimately, we are responsible for educating ourselves about cybersecurity and social engineering, such as these scams. Losing money is a hard way to learn the lesson. Pass the word on, educate your neighbors and your colleagues. NEVER give your SSN, or your Bank Account Information, including your credit card numbers to anyone over the phone. Protect your information folks.
eleiram
September 24, 2019
I received a call from a # 800-898-1093 09/23/19 04:07 pm & 09/24/19 # 800-012-3213 I don't accept the any call. The voice mail saying there was suspicious activity and my SS# was being suspended and to press 1 to find out the details.
Vani.gee
September 24, 2019
Got a recorded message saying to call 800 910 7366 or my social sec # will be permanently "blocked". Said to press 1 or they will recognize it as a no response and permanently block my ss# ???? So I pressed 1.... Some Indian guy in a very loud place asked for my name. I said no, I need to know why I'm getting a call about my ss being "blocked" . he said " yeah I think that someone they want to steal the money from you" I said from what money???? He said "from your social security paycheck. Can I have your name. Spell it. And social so I can find you in the system." I said no I'll come there, which office am I calling? He paused for a long time and said no I can do it from here.. I said no give me your name and title, direct number and just I'll tell them at whichever office I go to that you were helping me...... Hung up!
Stop scammers ↘
September 24, 2019
+13369338390 called and after googling it says it could me a scammer
NYC Sept 2019
September 24, 2019
And this number, 1-800 759-6148 saying that my s.s. has been suspended....
sammysammy
September 24, 2019
I got a call today from +1 410 982 6298 with a female recorded voice saying that they are investigating "fraud activities" and that if I don't respond in a timely manner, they will initiate a legal investigation and bla bla bla.
Jack
September 24, 2019
303 911 1081 is the new scam number
CuliCuli
September 24, 2019
I have received phone calls that seems to be SSN scam...same recorder: "Your social security card has been suspended because of suspicious activity...blah blah blah" The following numbers are "SCAM" 1(888) 438-8169, 1(888) 184-7907, 1(888) 558-0592, 1(402) 396-4367 ...Losers!! Get a Job!
dee62383
September 24, 2019
I have gotten FOUR calls today from a female recorded voice. "She" says the SSA has suspended my social security number, and that there is a warrant out for my arrest. "She" then instructs me to press 1 to speak to an officer. DO NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM. When I hang up, they just call me again later. When I press 1, the call hangs up. When I call them back, there is no one there. Just dead air. And I cannot block calls on this phone! It's not possible to suspend a social security number. That's not a consequence that exists. And the Social Security Administration is not going to call you and tell you that you're under arrest. And sometimes, the scammer will spoof the real SSA phone number, so don't fall for that, either. I wish they'd stop calling me!!!!
TammyC
September 24, 2019
Just got one of these calls. Seems like this scam has been going on for a long time. I feel sorry for anyone who falls for this. Thank you for this site that explains everything.
joyceb1960
September 24, 2019
I receive a call from 213-335-6153 and the man identifies himself and asks for me or my attorney to call him back with regards to A social security issue.
RCM
September 24, 2019
Got two calls (on a Sunday no less) from (415) 915-9088. Today I just got one from (866) 322-0696. All the calls left a Robo message to press 1 or call them back and, that my SSA number was locked and that I will be arrested and my bank accounts seized is I don't. These calls are all but laughable. Does anybody actually fall for this scam???
ns
September 24, 2019
Received similar spam call from a new number # 4153069370 .
ds
September 24, 2019
Received two calls in two days 844-162-7995 and 844-974-7828. Same recorded message both calls. They say that my SSN is suspend -- not suspended. I have hung up both times.
honeyn86
September 24, 2019
Hi, I received recorded voice message but from this number (416) 805-6296 today and yesterday from another number: (416) 401/3786. At the end they ask to choose 1 to speak with whoever in charge. I hung up both times after hearing their message and I’ll block these two numbers. But I’m sure they’ll use other numbers
BZ
September 24, 2019
536-748-9632 Received call from this phone number 10 minutes ago. Stated that an arrest warrant was issued for "you" because "you" defrauded SS. Nothing else.... no number to call back or anything! So...come and get me!
Rbori623m
September 24, 2019
This number just contacted me (800) 743 0869 pretending to be from Social security office. Please add this number to your data base for scams.
Shalay
September 24, 2019
recently received a phone call from 1-800-829-4934 telling me that my number was under suspicion of illegal activity please call us to unlock my SS number when i pushed 1 to speak with a representative they answer hello how can i help you instead of the normal social security rep greeting.
Tired of this
September 24, 2019
I got several phone calls from this # 469-528-9632 Social security scam Blocked them
Student loan default
September 24, 2019
Anyone have student loan debt in default? I just 3 back to back calls with a voicemail saying my number had been suspended due to suspicious activity. I have some suspicions of my own on who these ppl might be getting our numbers. I wonder if anyone has the same problem as me but my private student loans are in default and the lender sold it to national collegiate student loan trust. Ever since then I have been getting scam calls like this and more. I have this feeling that they might be selling our information to random ppl. Anyone else have such an experience.
Still?
September 24, 2019
I received a call from 1-800-226-8678 all your social benefits will be suspended...
kc74
September 24, 2019
From ‭+1 (800) 185-3628‬ today 9/24: “For the clearance give me a case you feel this is due to an error you may connect with legal _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ Social Security administration in order to connect with the Social Security administration officer press one now in case we did not hear from you your social will be blocked permanently to connect with the officer now press one and _⁠_⁠_ will be automatically be connected with a concern department did not receive any _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ or citizen in order to speak with social security personnel regarding your Social Security press one and this automated system will connect you with the officials press one now to connect…”
Abby
September 24, 2019
This is a scam number they called me from and the message sound exactly like the one above on the recording 1-866-968-7060
Gal from Molin…
September 24, 2019
I just received the same call. The number was 888-024-2463. The recording said to push one, so I did. The call appeared to be transferred and a man with a heavy Indian accent answered stating he was an associate with the Social Security administration. This is at 7:30 in the evening. He asked how he could help me. I told him he could quit trying to scam people!
1DUCK1
September 24, 2019
I received a call from the number 800-416-1041 which told me that my SS was being used in the western part of the Texas and that I should give them my SSN to help them get rid of the people who were 'using' it
Rock25
September 25, 2019
I just received two phone calls from 1 866-363-4242 and 1 866-329-0786 asking to press 1 to confirm my social security number due to suspicious activity. I didn't reply to it.
Rock25
September 25, 2019
I just checked on my voice mail and there is another phone call advising my social security number is related to an enforcement case. They called me from 1-916-306-0314 asking to call back. :( I never answered.
Shubhs
September 25, 2019
Received the same call from 410-779-9543.
Julie...
September 25, 2019
ALl week i have been receiving calls from a 1-800-765-6495 . I decided to answer the call just and as expected it was a call about an issue with my social security number. I pressed '1' just to see how far they would take the scam. Before they said anything i asked for the person's name and badge number. He told me Mark Johnson and badge # FD9161. When i asked for a call back number in case he call got disconnected he gave me my own cell number!!!!... I politely told him that i worked for an agency who is fully aware of the recent volume of scams and would be reporting this call to the right parties. He cursed me out and hang up the phone.
Cifrónity
September 25, 2019
This is out of control I received this called like 5 time in a day absolutely tired of this, how can I stop it
jane doe
September 25, 2019
scam # 1973 786-1153
tiff
September 25, 2019
These numbers are scam 410-779-9543
Gunnar
September 25, 2019
Just got a scam call for SSA from this number 210-489-1650
sony
September 25, 2019
I received a phone call from a 1(800)459-3129, claimed been from Social Security Administration and that there’s been suspicious activities with my Social Security Number.
noname
September 25, 2019
Just got call today from these scammers from 1-506-130-0294
bobo
September 25, 2019
I’m about to be arrested according to the heavily accented man with whom I just spoke. He said that my SS number had fraudent activity on it. He hung up when I wouldn’t give him any information. He called from 210-489-1980.
M Sikder
September 25, 2019
Today I got the same call with a different voice.
Max A.
September 25, 2019
I just a recorded message saying your social security will be blocked permanently if you do not talk to the social security administrator by dial 1 at the end of this call. I deleted this message and plan to file a complaint with phone company as well.
V
September 25, 2019
1 800 236 3113 scam as well
Firebane
September 25, 2019
I got that same call to press 1 and to speak to a social security officer but I knew that it was a scam and they said that my ssn would be suspended if I didn’t call
Dan
September 25, 2019
Called me today from 1(351)748-9632. I hung up..