Avoid Scams! Join the FTC and SSA During National Consumer Protection Week

Want to protect yourself from identity theft and scams?  Learn how during National Consumer Protection Week, the first week of March.  This year, we at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have joined with Social Security to help protect you.

What’s the latest?  Government imposter scams were the number one fraud reported to our Consumer Sentinel Network in 2019, with Social Security imposters leading the way.  There were 166,190 reports about Social Security scams, with people reporting individual losses of about $1,500.

If you haven’t received one of these calls yet, here’s what the scam sounds like.  Someone pretends to be a caller from Social Security.  Caller ID may even display a Social Security office number.  Sometimes the caller says your Social Security number has been suspended and you need to pay a fee to reactivate it.  The caller may even say your Social Security number has been linked with a crime, and you need to take immediate steps to avoid being arrested or to protect the money in your bank account.  Either way, when the person asks, do not provide your Social Security number.  You also should not buy gift cards (and read them the number) or wire money.

How can you protect yourself from Social Security fraud?  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls you out of the blue.
  • Social Security will never tell you to put money on gift cards, wire money, or send cash. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can make it look like they’re calling from anywhere – even a real Social Security phone number.

If you get one of these calls, hang up!  Do not provide any personal information or comply with any request for payment.

Want to learn more about how to protect yourself from Social Security imposter scams?  Join us March 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET for a Facebook Live with Social Security. I’ll join Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for Social Security, to talk about how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from imposter scams.

If you already received one of these calls, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission.  If it’s a Social Security imposter, please also report it to Social Security’s Office of Inspector General.  If you gave your Social Security number to a scammer and are worried about identity theft, visit our Social Security Identity Theft website for what steps you can take toward recovery.

In the spirit of National Consumer Protection Week, please pass along these tips to friends and family – help them avoid scams, too.

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25 thoughts on “Avoid Scams! Join the FTC and SSA During National Consumer Protection Week

    • I believe someone illegally change my social security number and they are drawing my benefits what do I do ive tryed asking ssa they look at me like I’m a liver and give me no help what do I do I’m disabled I am fixing to be on the street again we cannot stay with our daughter because they will put her on the street

  1. To The SSA. Thank you so much for your help with catching and exposing scammers who prey on the aged and unsuspecting people who have worked hard for their money. Please send me numbers to contact the correct office to report my suspicions on scammers. Also sign me up for additional information on how to protect my family and friends.

  2. I am sick and tired of these foreign speaking men calling claiming to be my computer technician! I am not stupid enough to fall for this but it does make me mad! Latest one came today – 80030002454. Yes, that’s an odd number but it’s what shows on my iphone.

  3. I was scammed by a Tech person acting supposedly from DELL. After he had remote access, he disabled my NORTON to fix a problem??? The problem was fixed but 10 min. after hanging up. He called back asking me to work for them, he was going to send me (for example) say, $5,000.00. I would keep 500 for myself but send the rest to a list he’d email me!!! I told him I had to think about it, so he would call back in a few days. I then called Dell, the Police, my bank and changed ALL account NO#’s including SS#, Medicare etc.!!!

  4. Plase open maine SSN card originale have plase call DHS fur open SSN-070922195 tu return back tu the usa fur work only thanks thomas germany.

  5. The best! I have a phone at home that has a built-in voicemail—which is always on—and I recorded an outgoing Star Trek message dealing with a transporter malfunction, so if anyone calls and wants to leave a message he/she has to listen to the whole story about the transporter! About 90% of the time the caller just hangs up—all they have to hear is “You have reached the bridge of the Starship Enterprise”, and click. If it’s really important they will leave a message. A couple of months ago a couple of would-be scammers tried, and as soon as I heard what they were up to I either pushed a “delete” button on the phone, or hung up, or both. THIS FISH AIN’T BITIN’!

  6. What I don’t understand why FTC and FCC not doing anything about 20 plus years robocall problem? If FTC and FCC demand all stop robocall tech tools inventions on the table and ask 📞 owners to Vote! which is best stop robocall tools in toolbox. Clearly the 🏆 is 1998 phone invention FTC 98 BLT 739 CALLER ID SCREENER Automatically let phone owners control all incoming calls and messages. Phone owners.in full control separating legitimate 📞 from bad actors. Ensuring each time phone rings or messages it’s something of importance.

  7. I’ve contacted FTC about I’d theft and the government agencies that issued my check,yet I have not been reimbursed ,why .also contacted IRS to write off stolen check as a tax loss’s and I have still heard nothing. I even filed occ complaint and contacted the bank that cashed the check.they refuse to reimburse.so you tell me what IAM supposed to do,but sue the government.

  8. I received a call saying that there’s a problem with my card ,it was a recorded message , the number is 940-252-8286 if that helps.

  9. These people need to find a real job! Stop trying to scam your way through life! We seniors have worked all our lives for our retirement money now it is time for you scammers to work for yours!!! LEAVE US ALONE!!!!!

    Thank you,
    A senior that don’t take their stuff and you shouldn’t either!! Stand up to them and HANG UP!!!!!

  10. I think the government should do more to protect us! Instead of telling us to simply hang up!! Go after them!! I’ve been on the do not call registry for years, and come to the conclusion that’s its worthless!! They make it so hard for you to report each call by having to remember times, days, numbers etc. hell there’s to many of them. I don’t have time for all that.

  11. i was at my local ssa office and tje lady helping me told me that “with your payee you get your ssdi, now we are going to say you are your own payee and you get these 4checks i will go over your benifit checks so you understand tjem. I stated i did not get the Doctor to release me so i could not accept them because i do have a order by the ALJ that stayes I must have a payee. so if those are mine send them to my payee. and i ran out of their so fast that i almost forgot my form T1000 that i came in for. Now I see a cover up by those whome are able to add and delete along with changing direct payments and the like from my last payee and from changing data on my own socialsecurity.gov account and not really understanding that i have a issue that evryone will not engauge to see the real truth that i am the person who is being taken advantage of and i need it to stop so i can become the best person i can be. and stop letting the select continue to take advantage of anyone.

  12. Since I accessed my ss information recently and am turning 65 this year I have been incessantly bombarded with calls from medicare supplemental and managed care who have gotten access to my info from the ssa. It is driving me insane since I am on the national do not call list. I do not have caller ID so pick up the phone. This is happening as many as 4 times an hour. How can I get it to stop? I do not have a need for either forms of insurance this year because I am under my husband’ insurance through his work and medicare will be my secondary for a number of years to come.

  13. Hello I can’t be spending cash at the local grocery store. I’ve not received my Snap allotment as yet. They told me to wait. I am a DIABETIC. Please help

  14. My wife and I have been victims of ID theft, by my father-and can’t even get the police to do their jobs. One example of many, the IRS directed us to go to IRS.GOV and down load a form. Next, file a police report, then call the number to make an. appt at our local IRS office to turn the paperwork in since he has changed my wife’s address at our physical address and her P.O. box, therefore, having 2 case numbers at the USPS. We were denied taking out a police report as the IRS instructed us to do. Instead, they attached it to an investigation done in 2017 showing he had COMPLETED the crime of 1180/ wire fraud etc. for illegally gaining access to my wife’s cell phone acct and still has not been arrested on, even with his own statement of doing it.(a felony) He is using all my wife’s information (drivers license, SS number, name and email) to get a lot of insurance quotes on his vehicle using her personal information, provided her email to have his vehicle serviced , has dealt with a car dealership, and not to mention, we live in the state and county where our “elected” sheriff was just recently charged with the murder of one of his deputies (racially motivated). Not to mention the detective that did the investigation of him gaining access to her phone acct and making changes to her acct.(the acct is in my wife’s name only) and since they attached the report about the IRS to the investigation report from her phone in 2017, ONLY my wife can pick up the police report even though the 2 letters from the IRS are addressed to myself.
    He also impersonated me using my first, middle and last name to give false statements under oath to the police department. Only to have my wife arrested! She spent 4 days in jail, was not given her medication while being illegally incarcerated and denied release. But the paperwork she has, shows she was taken before a judge the 2nd day and was given a bond and a receipt in HER NAME ( also illegal in this state Bc you can NOT bail your own self out of jail ) and the same day picked up a second charge which was nothing more than the original arrest paper of simple assault being copied and then domestic case put at the bottom. The papers she has also say she can NOT get out of jail until 4:51 A.M. the next day, but still was not released until the 4th day of being falsely arrested. My wife tried to get a copy of the police report and paid $5 to get it, only for a couple of officers telling the clerk to give the money back to her but they forgot to get her receipt! After nearly 5 years of being denied the report, she was lucky to catch a different person working whom just recently let her buy a copy of the FABRICATED POLICE REPORT! There are even “court records” showing she went to court on 7/20 and all charges were dropped on her Bc the witness & the victim said so. My wife nor I have ever been to court from that false arrest due to my father impersonating myself. We just went this past week to try to file a report of my father impersonating me and was denied the right to take out a police report. The so called officer on duty was very rude to us, yelling at my wife as he bullied her telling her he was about to get very angry when all she did was spoke the truth and he said she was lying based upon the police report he had. A false police report is what he had in his hand. He clearly stated that the officer from that night is who saw my wife hit me( she never touched anybody ). But she was arrested and denied release from April to June on her paperwork and the officer was a little smart ass by asking her why and she replied to him that he would have to ask the magistrate.
    He even went as far as to saying the only thing about my father on the police report is that he was my next of kin. That is NOT on the police report and if they put it there, it’s wrong Bc my wife is my next of kin, not my father! Once he found out my wife had attained a copy of the police report, he showed much aggression and told her she was not suppose to have it and basically, I was denied the right to take out a report on my father impersonating me from that night acting as if he were me. Although the police officer told us that we were calling the deputy a lie by saying he witnessed my wife assaulting me. He tried to tell us that simple assault is domestic violence when 2 people are in a relationship and my wife said she was not married to my father, he got really angry. She informed him she had all the original paperwork from that night and a copy of the falsified police report and the paper showing my father used my entire name and took charges out on her saying I witnessed my wife assaulting my father. He kept saying his officer is who witnessed it. And if that was the truth, please explain how my wife’s charges were dismissed Bc the court records show the witness and the victim had had them dismissed and not the officer that says he witnessed it. And by the way, my wife nor I have EVER been to court from that. And since going to the police department a few days ago, the police are constantly following and watching my wife like a hawk.
    Not to mention my father has broken the law by committing felony charges against my wife and has not been arrested, and assaulting my wife but nobody will help my wife or myself!
    IN DESPERATE NEED OF HELP

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