Beware of Social Security Scams

Social Security phone scams are the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and Social Security. Over the past year, these scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Social Security encourages you to use the new online form to report Social Security phone scams to disrupt the scammers and help us reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims.

“We are taking action to raise awareness and prevent scammers from harming Americans,” said Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security. “I am deeply troubled that our country has not been able to stop these crooks from deceiving some of the most vulnerable members of our society.”

Social Security employees will occasionally contact you by telephone or mail for business purposes if you have ongoing business with the agency. However, Social Security employees will not:

  • Tell you that your Social Security number has been suspended.
  • Contact you to demand an immediate payment.
  • Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash.
  • Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.
  • Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.

Remember that Social Security employees will never threaten you. If there’s a problem with your Social Security record, Social Security will mail you a letter. If Social Security needs you to submit payments, the agency will provide instructions in the letter, including options to make those payments

“Awareness is our best hope to thwart the scammers,” said Gail Ennis, Inspector General for Social Security. “Tell your friends and family about them and report them to us when you receive them, but most importantly, just hang up and ignore the calls.”

You can learn more on our press release.

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281 thoughts on “Beware of Social Security Scams

  1. I received a call today with a message that said my SS payments are being held because of an error in my application, The number is 812-393-1035.

    I have not filed for social security and do not know what this is about. Can someone call me to discuss if this is a valid message. 804-475-8791

    • Thanks for letting us know, Barbara. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  2. I had received a phone call saying that they were from the Social Security office and that they were suspicious behavior. They then transferred me to a local number in Jupiter, I did tell them that they should have my Social Security number that I would not give it to them they then hung up. I called back that number and a guy named Jason answer it Saying that he was at work. I really don’t know if he was the scam or not but this number was being used area code 561-781-6714 please be aware thank you very much. Be careful out there

    • Thanks for sharing your experience with our online community, Anne. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  3. I was scamed on internet from a forgein lady who said she would fix my computer and i stupidly gave my name and number and she wanted my social security number too. Can you please help me?

  4. I have gotten between 8 and 10 calls from different 508 area code cell phones. The caller identifies herself as Audrey and states that she is calling me in reference to my inquiry about applying for Social Security Disability Benefits. At times it sounds like she is a recorded message center with different responses depending upon what I say. I have asked to be removed from their calling list since I have not placed an inquiry about Disability Benefits, but the calls keep coming. What can be done to stop these calls as it is very annoying among other things. I would hope that some action can be taken through the fraud department to catch these people.

    • Thanks for checking in with us, Ann. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  5. I had a call telling me (no name) had a criminal charge against my social security.
    Beware, They even used a man with an educated sounding voice.
    The call came from a caller ID of. “BURKE ELECTRIC”
    So this caller was a hired phone scammer. Hope it can be traced.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Fred. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  6. I recieved a call today saying that my social security numbers was used in some fraudulent transactions. The call was a recording that I answered, it wasn’t even a real person. The call came from San Antonio, Texas (210) 981-1344. I call the number back and immediately I asked to talk to someone about a recording I got about my social security number. He began to speak and stuttered and I knew it was a scam. I then told them not to ever call my number ever again and hung up.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Melody. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

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