Frauds & Scams

Beware of Scammers Pretending to be Social Security

January 17, 2019 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

" "In the digital age, frauds and scams are an unfortunate part of doing business online. During the holiday season, Social Security has traditionally seen a spike in phishing scams, and we want to protect you as best we can.

We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security Number (SSN) or bank account information to unknown individuals over the phone or internet. If you receive a call and aren’t expecting one, you must be extra careful. You can always get the caller’s information, hang up, and — if you do need more clarification — contact the official phone number of the business or agency that the caller claims to represent. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who called you.

Please take note; there’s a scam going around right now. You might receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security or another agency. Calls can even display the 1-800-772-1213, Social Security’s national customer service number, as the incoming number on your caller ID. In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of your personal information, such as your Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase your benefit payment, or that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security.

Callers sometimes state that your Social Security number is at risk of being deactivated or deleted. The caller then asks you to provide a phone number to resolve the issue. People should be aware the scheme’s details may vary; however, you should avoid engaging with the caller or calling the number provided, as the caller might attempt to acquire personal information.

Social Security employees occasionally contact people by telephone for customer-service purposes. In only a few special situations, such as when you have business pending with us, a Social Security employee may request the person confirm personal information over the phone.

Social Security employees will never threaten you or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. If you receive these calls, please report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online.

Remember, only call official phone numbers and use secured websites of the agencies and businesses you know are correct. Protecting your information is an important part of Social Security’s mission to secure today and tomorrow.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Elmer H.

    hi do you pay ssc when we live in the Netherlands .ore do they only pay wen you live in the US.

    • T

      If entitled based on work covered by SS, you can be paid in most foreign countries. Inquire at the US embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

  2. Byron J.

    Identity fraud

  3. Barbara M.

    I recently received a phone call from Social Security stating that I am being accused of fraud and to call Social Security but, they didn’t leave a callback number. The next day a woman called stating she had a file on me for this supposed fraud and she only left her name (Sarah Davis), as the person to talk to but, again no phone number to call back. How can I find out if any of this is true?

    • John

      Just ignore it!

    • Laurie m.

      I receive a phone call a recording…stateing this is social security and. There’s a warrant out for your arrest ..for fraudulent activity….this call says if you want more info press one. And I did ….
      It automatically hangs up on you …and the call comes from unknown number….

    • Laurie m.

      I just had the same happen to me


    What does Social Security Administration do to some of their officials who behave as scammers?
    Social Security officials in Chicago wrote me 12 letters between 2014 and 2016 claiming that I was overpaid SSI benefit to the tune of $918 in November and December 2013, whereas I was never paid at all. The case was reported to a credit manager in New York who in turn reported it to one of the credit bureaus (Experian) in 2014, and consequently my credit was serious damaged by this group of indolent and insensitive SSA officials. By share coincidence, I discovered from a source that I was not paid at all. How could SSA officials write 12 separate letters demanding for debt that was never owed without any of the officials discovering that I was not owing SSA? I don’t believe that this was an unknown mistake. I believe that this was an intentional act which the perpetrators should be seriously punished for. After I proved that they were wrong, no apology was tendered which showed that it wasn’t a mistake but an intentional act to destroyed me for as long as possible.
    Since 2014, SSA has not paid me my SSI benefits, and just recently (about 32 months ago) my retirement benefits have been detained and looked down without giving me the reason(s) for this discriminatory treatment. I had written many letters, and emailed Almighty SSA on many occasions like this, but all to no avail, as they deliberately ignored all my appeals.

    • John J.

      Scams should be treated as something unbelievable, sort of like your story.

    • Kim

      It says not to believe it when you’re threatened by someone claiming to be SS over the phone but I was threatened,harrassed and my rights were violated in the SS office by an employee when they claim I had an overpayment,which is bs.Now their stealing almost $50 out of my check every month for years now.You can’t trust real SS officials much less scammers.The real SS have their little scams too.

      • Alma

        Wow,this it’s up setting I get tssi since 1990 I’ve had never changed anything ever with income I made,then all of a sudden back in 1914 they to said I got over paid,to the tune of over 4,000 dollars and released my check of 332 dollars,they were taken out ever month, this made me sick! It’s bad enough that I have to live off of 700. ,a month,but 300! They r insaine,I called my brother,to help me,figure this out b4 the next month’s check becuz that’s just crazy to take 400 a month out,it’s a inside scam! I finally got them to lower the amt to over 2,000 but they take it out if my check every month,I don’t think see how that extra money could actually go to a specific worker,but I really think it is a inside job,becuz there’s Ithe people like going thru this at same time none of my bank asst or income had change thru the years,!!! Fraud all over it,so they r taken 30 a month out all cause my brilliant brother whom knows how to handle m.thank God for’s a far cry from 300 montlh

        • El P.

          Back in 1914 huh? Sorry but your the one who’s completely insane Alma!

          Please learn to spell and complete a sentence and seek proper mental health care immediately.

  5. Aurangzeb K.

    I received a call today from 1800-947-3761 at 9:43 AM telling me it is Social security and my SS number has been blocked and I need to talk to a specialist. Knowing this is fraud call, I pressed 1 and some one with a foreign accent came on and asked me for my name and address. I told him you are a fraud and I am going to report you. He hung up immediately. Just posting this for all to beware.

  6. Marion T.

    Thanks for reiterating telephone scams. Yesterday I received a call that my SS number was being deactivated because of fraudulent activity. I didn’t stay on the phone long enough to get the phone number I was supposed to call. How do we stop these scammers?

    • Mel P.

      I have found a way that seems to cut our “phoney” calls down to very little, after being besieged every day. DON”T SAY anything. Put phone down and go about your business. Don’t hang up until you hear the dial tone. There seems to be a click where it sounds like they have hung up but wait for the dial tone.

      • Dawn

        What does that do? I really confused if u just let the audio voice talk ,,howcould thst help them calling more,,,,,I’m getting these calls about twice a day driving me crazy,I would think they get a hint,I’m not going to listen to whatever bullshit by now

    • Dawn

      I’ve been getting those calls now also,they call from USA United States numbers also from Canada,it’s unreal how professional those calls sound,I had to see if they were scams,it’s crazy that people fall for this,now I feel I have to call as and put on hold for your just to see what’s going on….glad I reply cause that’s what they say to me.

  7. Barry S.

    Thanks for the information, it’s ashamed that there are evil people trying to steal from others!

    Thank you for keeping us informed!

  8. Elizabeth C.

    I have had 2 calls I did answer one call but it sounds like ab Hindu person so I hung up never said a word.

  9. Galina

    thank you for the info. It is very useful. I ve got a call from the state of IL and they knew all about me and they said they are from the SSA. I did not gave any of my info but I said if you are from the SSA why do you ask me the info. Don,t know but felt destroyed and scary.

  10. Linda D.

    Very good information. I would ask that you mail out this article to everyone who is receiving Social Security. Believe it or not, a lot of people do not use a computer. Hard to comprehend in this day and age. I get sick when I hear about people be scammed by these disgusting, immoral people.

    • Kent H.

      What do I do if I already gave my ss# to a robo call

      • El P.

        Repeat to yourself all day that you are an absolute idiot!

      • Liz

        You need to place a lock on your credit. Call the credit bureaus. The scammer will try to use your Social Security number to steal your identity.

      • Ann C.

        Hi, Kent. If you suspect identity theft, you should go to and report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). We hope this helps!

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