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The Social Security Administration (SSA) scam is the number one scam reported to the FTC right now.

As soon as a caller threatens you, or demands you pay them with a gift card or by wiring money, it’s a scam. Even if the caller ID tells you otherwise.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, hang up the phone and remember:

  • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended.
  • The real Social Security Administration will never call to threaten your benefits.
  • The real SSA will never tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on a gift card.

Watch this video to see how scammers use threats and high-pressure tactics to try to con you. Learning about scams makes them much easier to avoid.  If you’ve received a call like this, tell your friends, family and neighbors about it. Tell them to hang up the phone and to report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

Social Security Administration Seal with Imposter Scam text

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • 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

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.

December 16, 2019
My home phone is with our cable company and I block all calls except a list of accepted calls. The caller will hear a message and then can leave voice response or hang up. Most hang up. But some robocalls are still on the system. The scammers are persistent. Phony social security and other callers telling me I need to phone them back. I never do. I just delete the messages after reporting the call. If you have a home phone through your cable provider, please check to see what call blocking features you have. If you have other providers for cell phones many offer call blocking features as well.
December 16, 2019
Does the caller ID say Social Security? (Or Medicare, or IRS, or the county courthouse?) DON'T ANSWER. Don't answer the phone just because it's ringing. Only answer if it's someone you know or recognize. Don't let those criminals waste your time!
December 17, 2019

In reply to by ShariYS

I don't answer unknown calls either. If the call is legitimate and important, the person can leave a message. I have found it very easy to ignore a ringing phone.
January 01, 2020

In reply to by Laurel

I always use home number, never answer it, if important they leave a message.
January 16, 2020

In reply to by ShariYS

The fact that we pay for phone service & it gets hijacked by the same phony callers all day long seems like robbery. We have to leave the phone unplugged & see the numbers pop up on the tv screen. Worse than that we don't know if there is a legitimate call coming in from a possible newly referred doctor. So in essence our phone is useless. I'm not sure when this became legal since most if not all have signed up for Do Not Call. I've heard of several bills being passed to stop them but so far no good.
Point Richmonder
December 16, 2019
Thanks for the info, but please tell us how to report a scam call.
January 06, 2020

In reply to by Point Richmonder

Read the article above; Click on the blue link. The one that reads “ it to the Federal Trade Commission.”
December 16, 2019
I am so sick of that scammer calling me. From Russia, Canada, all types of places also using my area code to get me to answer the phone. Know am getting a scam email from Amazon, bank of America, well’s Fargo, Navy bank. Something needs to be done about this. I am so tired of those Calls and emails every day. From calls to emails. Please do something soon to help your consumers. Also who to protect your personal information from the scammer. Because it's costing us a lot of time and money For some us. That Dont Have the money or the help to protect our information.
December 16, 2019
I always ask if this is a recorded line . When they say yes, I say I dont talk on a recorded line, and hang up. Im sure this confuses them. lol
December 16, 2019
I have harrassed by fake agents since I left the nursing home on August 26, 2019. Even while I was in the nursing home I got telemarketers trying to sale me something. The nurses could not pick up the phones in the hallways because the telemarketers were trying up the phone. Lord forbid there was an emergency and someone need an outside line. Also the internet said Iwon $1,000,000.00 today. But I was connected to another ad for purchasing something or make another entry for the $1,000,000
December 16, 2019
Too true, I don't even answer the phone anymore, unless the calling number is registered on my phone. Periodically, I review the numbers against a fuller listing on my computer to be sure not to miss contact with someone I wish to speak with. After that I call block the scam calls, which doesn't much help, since they still get through with voice mail. Scams constitute over 80% of calls received and really exhaust my battery.
December 16, 2019
I have been scammed over 300,000.00 from a person representing a person I admired but needed financial help. I thought I was being careful by FaceTime calls, financial statements and phone calls. But with how sophisticated artificial intelligence have become I truly feel I was scammed. Now me and my disabled son are financially distraught. I really messed up. Also it appears with all the scamming occurring, despite filing complaint with FTC and FBI nothing will be done and my life dramatically has been altered. I was such a fool!
December 16, 2019
Why don’t the FCC and FTC get together on this and put a stop to spoofed phone numbers? This can be done - there is a origin phone number in call logs. This should be what is displayed. Spoofed numbers are not a problem in other parts of the world due to action by national phone networks. But laissez-faire US puts the burden and cost on individuals. Telling us about scams is not enough. Put a stop to it!
David R
January 07, 2020

In reply to by Kmbs

I agree with your post. Maybe the FBI needs to be involved to investigate and prosecute these scammers.
Gary V
December 16, 2019
I believe it is the responsibility of the service providers, at&t Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and others to block calls that have bogus caller id number and/or name being carried on the call. If it's a voice over IP call they know the originating point and a simple comparison to the call info could greatly reduce the number of robocalls.
December 16, 2019
This works for me: My voicemail message says "I screen all my calls now to avoid robo-calls, telemarketers and scammers, so if you are NOT one of those, please leave a message". This reduces my stress, reduces the calls and !BONUS! when they hang up, they are ADMITTING that they are scammers!! It makes me chuckle. I've had my phone number for 35 years, so they know I am a senior citizen, which unfortunately makes me a perfect target for scammers.
January 08, 2020
If you have VOIP (cable or Internet) home phone service and also on your cell phone, there are several very good scam blocking services and software products. I won't mention the names of the products on here but the FTC has a great page at that tells you almost everything you need to know to block these types of calls (or at least most of them :)
December 16, 2019
I am even getting calls from myself. Both home phone and mobile phone. When is our government going to stop this madness?????
January 08, 2020

In reply to by BobC

I recently started getting calls with my name and number on the caller ID. Someone is selling this service allowing people to state whatever number they want as the broadcasted caller ID. THIS IS WRONG. Only one thing can come from that service and it is deception. Why is that not a crime for service providers to sell deception?
December 16, 2019
I try not to answer if I don't recognize the number. However, when I am expecting a call from say a worker and don't know their number, I have to answer the phone. Pain in the neck these scammers! I am constantly going into my cell phone provider website AND my home phone provider and blocking calls. The problem here is my cell phone provider doesn't allow me to block more than 5 calls and my home phone provider doesn't allow me to block more than 10 calls. Also, they are only blocked for a few months and can start all over again. I do believe that the BIG phone companies can do something about this. I do know that if you want to block more numbers, you will have to go into another plan and be charged - which is a disgrace to me! Just greed!
Part of the crowd
December 16, 2019
I wish I had $1,000,000.00 for every time some scammer told me I won $1,000,000.00! I have to answer my phone even though I know it's a scam because I have a support job where I occasionally get legitimate calls from unknown numbers. The tell-tale delay... If you answer and noone talks to you within a couple seconds of you saying "Hello", then it's a robo call, just hang up. I get 2-3 every day.
December 16, 2019
I strung one of them along for a few minutes, then told him “Thank you for staying on the line long enough for us to trace your call.” Click!
Don't use your…
December 16, 2019
Im recieving emails through my text messages , making it harder to block because they are not coming from a phone number.
December 16, 2019
A new scam from someone pretending to be calling from Apple concerning my Apple ID saying someone from Russia, Nigeria, and Texas been trying to hack my devices to get, Bank-and other private information , Apple would send me Five Hundred dollars to reimburse me for this happening to my account. Go to the Family Dollar and purchase a card. Anyways I told him I was going to the Apple store and his subject changed and he said that Apple would handle it if I was at their store told me goodbye and have a nice day!
December 16, 2019
December 16, 2019
Please note, overseas originators are common. Any delay after answering a call indicates a 'connect call command' once an American target says 'hello'. Efficient tactics and software voice recognition confirm an actual person has answered the US phone. A reputable caller will call back, targeting scammers are only looking for 'live bait', hang up. Lesson: pauses, silent delay or single tone 'connect' indicators confirm scam operators on the line usually from off shore. Note also, targeting operators include false identifications as Police or first-responder charity and fraternal organizations. Hang up, never speak with these. Some resort to bullying even accusing targets of disrespect for law enforcement. As FTC has urged, personal experience confirms. A known caller will immediately greet and confirm their identity. Any hesitation is a flag. School yourself to avoid saying 'yes'. A recording of your 'yes' response is sometimes all that needed. Instead, stay silent. Again, a known caller will identify themselves fully.
December 16, 2019
My phone is now on permanent do-not-disturb. I don’t read emails anymore. If someone calls and they don’t leave a message, I automatically block you.
December 20, 2019

In reply to by Dontcallme

My phone lives in "do not disturb" mode as well. I have my family, close friends, job, and doctors on my favorites list. The only time I, temporarily, inactivate it is when I expect an important call and don't know the number from which it will come. I bought home cordless phones that have the built-in blocking system. Robocalls are automatically blocked. The phone never rings. Our government needs to step in and help us consumers. It should not be up to us to avoid these scams, privacy invasion and harassment. Their so-called "Do Not Call" list, obviously isn't working.
December 16, 2019
I like stunning the caller. I’ll say things like What’s a computer I’m surprised my boss didn’t mention that. I work for Microsoft. I don’t use electricity I don’t trust banks. I keep my money in a sock.
December 17, 2019
As soon as a scammer threatens anyone, it's considered a crime. Applies also to online threats. Consider a recording device on your phone; save all online texts and messages issuing threats. Contact law enforcement immediately.
December 17, 2019
I have received spam calls ever seance I rented a Uhaul Truck. Do not give Uhaul your contact number or your two other contracts. Seance I have given them my number I have received countless spam calls. I am a big believer of registering my telephone number with the FTC do not call list. Up until I rented a Uhaul Truck I never got a spam call unless I travel out of state. My two contacts that was required by Uhaul now get even more spam calls. Yes I am going to reregister my number with the FTC do not call. Good luck people.
December 19, 2019

In reply to by Jim

Good luck with registering. I've done it, and still get spam calls every day.
December 17, 2019
If you don't know or recognize the phone number don't answer the call and if you are using a cellphone just block the number. And one more trick tells the caller that you are a police officer and they will hang up right away.
December 18, 2019
I just a call from 620-682-4636 saying that SS has been suspended and a lawsuit has been filed against me and they received suspicious acitivity on my SS. And is asking me to call that number
December 18, 2019
Received a call on 12/18/19 from SS explaining my SS number is being compromised at the Texas border and I need to call 361-503-5062 immediately to speak to an agent to correct the problem
December 19, 2019

In reply to by NOT A FOOL

Received same call today (12/19/19) about my SS number is being compromised at the Texas as well. The phone numbers are different. Since this is holiday season, I think, it could be alert from my credit card (I did received it before) and pick up the phone. The major distractions was that it was very hard understand the reason of call and what they want. They are spock very fast with specific accent. It was two separate calls. Second - looks like from the "boss" and he is represent himself as investigator who is will provide some instructions to me what should done to prove my identity. He did warn me do not contact with anybody until the end of "verifications" process and I can't hang up my phone otherwise I will be arrested. I have to stay on phone with him. Then he warn me about call from local police department that should contact with me now. After few minutes I received the call from my local police station. I recognized my area code (later I called to that number. It is the local police station). The "policemen" told me that he received the call from SS office and he aware about my situation and I need follow the "boss" instructions. Then I should go to the Target and wait other instructions. After that, the "boss" told me to get two gift cards from the Target and put on each one $2000. Totally $4000. That's was very suspicious for me... Who is buying a gift cards from Target for $2000?!!! I turned off my phone and went to that police station from where I received a call and report about the SS number scam call this morning. They told me that's last week some other person has been a victim of successful scam target in our city. The police informed me that I am not a victim until the actual theft of money. Thanks God, I didn't lose anything except my time and health.
January 16, 2020

In reply to by NotAVictim

Dang. That's crazy. I wonder if anyone knows there's no reason for a random anyone that knows your social and your phone number. Social Security tells people they no one else needs your SS# except certain financial business. The one that keeps asking but will never get it from me or my family is the doctors and dentists. They do not need it. I've never been asked beyond striking through the form where it asks. We live in a constant hacking world and zero privacy. We must keep as much as we can away from everyone. Now if we can just get rid of Captcha!!
December 18, 2019
Last month I read an article about a new federal law which requires phone companies to step up to the plate and stop /block spam calls. So far, my cell phone is the only phone which is blocking spam calls. the phone rings once, and the number appears with the word "spam" in red under the number. Granted some calls still get thru; but, the quantity of calls has greatly been reduced.
Forensic 1
December 18, 2019
I get so many spam calls I don't even know for sure who all of them are from. My AT&T service helps identify spam calls, and blocks some, but it's still a daily battle. I need to get normal phone calls in case a family member or close friend is trying to reach me, but their names are programmed into my contacts list. If someone calls me and doesn't leave a message, tough.
December 19, 2019
We have been getting call from someone claiming to be the Social Security. They tell me there is litigation pending against my account. I block the number but I keep on getting the calls. The number of the phone the last time is 202-858-7666.
December 20, 2019

In reply to by Buddy1942

They will call with different numbers showing. I was getting bombarded with the one soliciting for health insurance. One day I answered and listened to the whole message. I pressed the number to be removed from their call list. Those calls stopped.
Louisiana Girl
December 19, 2019
Just to let you know----called Medicare customer service 2 days ago about a suspicious medical bill (turns out it was legal robbery, not illegal robbery), and within hours the cellphone the call was made from began being barraged by unwanted calls. The calls were i.d.'d as likey spam some of the time, others not. Some out of state exchanges, others within state. Most of them are leaving voice messages, which is a new twist on scammer calls. These messages are either garbled or incomplete, of course designed to spark the mark (us) by tweaking our curiosity, to call them back. This is after weeks of comparative relief from these calls, after systematically blocking each one. Were down to one every couple of days on this #. Now suddenly up to 4-6 a day again on this phone, all of a sudden. We wonder if it's a coincidence, or, did Blue Cross customer service get hacked? Nothing you need to do, as we are not about to fall for it. We don't even directly answer these creeps, and don't care if we miss a few legit calls in the effort to shield ourselves from criminals. Just thought y'all ought to be aware that this might be going on. These health insurance customer service outfits are probably seat-of-the-pants private contractors located God knows where, with little to no cybersecurity.
December 19, 2019
Received a call from **667-458-7408**(Maryland) SCAM !!!! Left a voice mail which was cut off. Stated that they are blocking my SS# immediately do to an illegal complaint and to call the above mentioned number to speak with an officer.
December 20, 2019
Just received a text saying I was randomly picked for $1000 Walmart gift card promotion - which I never entered- their phone number is 1-714-326-7707 and the internet f4xmc. info/ Tv3u0I2 Fu5yx so beware