Frauds & Scams

Beware of Social Security Scams

November 19, 2019 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: June 30, 2021

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


  1. Penny

    I have received numerous calls saying my social security number has been in fraudulent situations and says that ssa is filing charges against me. I get these phone calls sometimes 3 times a day. I have sent there messages and phone numbers. It’s very nerve racking because they are so convincing. They ask for my date of birth and I refused and they said I better get attorney they wouldn’t tell me what it was about.

  2. Barbara A.

    Someone just called and a computer generated voice said that my SS # had been fraudulently used by someone to n South Texas. I was told to press one to connect with a SS officer. I did and a man’s voice said as administration. I said someone had called me and the line went dead. Is this a scam?

  3. Loice M.

    I received a call from phone number 727-210-3658 listed in clearwater fl. The person on the phone said that my social security no. had been suspended. They seemed to have all of my personal information as far as my full name, address and age. They asked me to verify my social number but I refused to do that so they hung up.

  4. Wesselina V.

    Dear Sir: Not sure how to report a social security number that was given to a scammer. I have protected myself by getting indentity thief protection and have contacted my bank and credit cards. Not sure what to do with my social security number. No money in the accounts have been lost. Will you please inform me what the next step should be?

  5. Miss m.

    I have been call on my home phone for the last two weeks I have a answering service on phone but they were Threating to arrest me and anyone that lives at my home for SS#fruad. I just listen to them I don’t have answer my phone I do this to have proof if I have to need it. At any time the number. Started off with area code of 210 I knew it was a phony

  6. PLS

    Just received a call from (213) 984-4589. Same scam.

  7. jill

    Got a call from 205 419 6184. They seem to have called quite a lot recently. I phoned back and got a heavily-foreign-accented “SS officer”. I told him I was the Queen of England and didn’t have an SS#. Calls seem to have stopped. Must remember to do this in future with all uninvited calls.

  8. Carolyn V.

    I got a phone call on 1/13/2020…voice was Philippine. wanted to know if i had back pain, said medicare would pay for whatever i needed. the woman gave me my ssn, address, my name, obviously had my phone number.. she hung up when I started asking questions. I got 2nd call on 1/17/2020…still a Philippino accent…She had the same message…I told her to take me off her list and told her I did not have back pain…she hung up on me. The phone number that showed up on my phone is 931-389-6091.

  9. Mary A.

    My Husband worked More than 15 yrs before he had a major stroke ,and he just Died I think you are scammers ,that just try to keep peoples money!! He paid Taxes what for I will talk to a Lawyer you try and tell me he only has 20 credits, 40 credits is 10 yrs of work!!

  10. Michael D.

    I got a call at 12:53 pm on 1/17/20 from 925-541-5018. The caller said they suspended by social security number so I hung up. I tried to report it on the on-line form; but, it wouldn’t let me because I did not have an email address or amount paid (I paid nothing) to complete those boxes on the form. So, I am notifying the SSA this way. Thank you for the website with the fraud info on it.

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