Fraud

Beware of Social Security Scams

November 19, 2019 • By

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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About the Author

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

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  1. Marilyn Kierstead

    I have at times 4 calls a day from a 603 number that says my Soc. Sec. has been suspended. I am so sick of these calls. Each time the area code is 603-784- and a different number each call. I have tried to call back but there is no number. I have actually pressed the #1 while still on phone to talk with an agent. All foreign people. I tell them never to call again or I will report them. Does not stop. The number just received was 1-603-784-3002. Can you stop these calls. I have also had calls from my area with it showing as Peterborough, NH. Answer and still same thing. Please stop these calls. Thank you mkier1@yahoo.com, Marilyn Kierstead, 1-603-784-5395 (my personal number).. I am connected to Comcast phone.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Marilyn. 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.

      Reply
  2. Louis Bookbinder

    I tried using my Social Security as required. It shunted me over to ID.me and I went through their process including attempting to upload my Driver’s License, at which point the ID.me screen would not accept a jpg which I KNOW is 161KB and it’s excuse is it needs a photo of between 40KB and 12MB. Which 161KB IS!

    Do you have a clue? or is ID.me all a scam?

    Reply
  3. HARMONEY E HARRIS

    I received a call from a 870 408 this morning felling me there has been a warrant issued for my arrest

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Harmony. 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.

      Reply
  4. Ricky Ramirez

    I have been receiving calls from someone claiming be the departure of treasury and saying they found suspicious activity on my banking account and there is an arrest warrant for me. This is what the number looks like on my phone +12783255175040 all it says on my caller ID is United States.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Ricky. 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.

      Reply
  5. Roger W Corbett

    I want to report a scam, but I didn’t know where on the site to go to report it.
    We received a phone call claiming to be SSA. You were suppose to press one if you want info. We didn’t do that. We just hung up. The phone number of the caller had what looked to be a local number, but according to some info I read on the SSA site, it probably isn’t. The caller’s number is 518-813-6026. Our phone number is 518-813-1740.

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Roger. 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.

      Reply
  6. gordon mayner

    I received a call from a local number claiming to be an SSN call and stating an arrest warrant had been issued for me. I messed up and pressed 1 and a foreign person ask my name. I gave it then thought better and hung up. I did not give SSN or any other data but I”m worried now. number was 440-591-9751

    Reply
  7. DeborahWallace

    Just got local calls saying SS office & identity has been stolen form someone in south Texas. 2 calls today from different #’s.
    713-686-9814
    713-687-7006

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thanks for letting us know, Deborah. 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.

      Reply

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