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.


Tags: ,

See Comments

About the Author

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

  1. Bertha Jackson

    I have received three calls from local phone # 916-476-5843 that my SS has been discontinued and is in litigation in Texas. I block this caller then receive a call from 916-476-5567, someone I do not know and suspect it is the same scam.

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Bertha. Thanks for checking in with us. 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. Janice Shannon

    9/2 At 5:03 p.m. I received an automated call that my social security number had been suspended due to suspicious activity. To get more information I was to press 1. I didn’t, suspecting it was a scam. Held the line open for a minute to see if a live person would pick up. After hanging up, I noted the number calling: 386-965-4898. The 965 is the same as for my cell. Can you do anything with this information?

    Reply
    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Janice. 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
  3. molly Wilson

    I received a call from 903-824-3377, telling me my SS# had been used. Of course, it was a robo call. I am not aware of any misuse, but want it reporteed. Anything else I should do?

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Molly. 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. Teresa Schwelling

    I’m receiving messages saying I am approved for SSTF… And the person won’t talk by phone but only messages me asking all my info in a message form….his number is a UTah number.

    Reply
    • Teresa Schwellinger

      He claims he needs my address to have fedex locate me to send an approved check. When I asked for a legit website to affirm this is not a scam he only claimed it was not a scan and needed this info to put me in the database. Very disturbing to do to a widower. The number is (801)980-8708 and claims his name is Robert Samuel.

      Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Teresa. 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. Karen Owen

    This morning at 10:37am (9/17/20), I received a recorded phone message (female voice) from a LOCAL phone number (704-782-3870) alerting ANYONE who answered the phone – that there may have been fraudulent – suspicious activity on my SS# – and if I wanted to COMMIT to a resolution – Press 1…. I hung up. About an hour later – I redialed the number – it was OUT OF SERVICE. I hate this type of call – especially since I had just placed a freeze and a fraud alert on my credit file…

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Karen. 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. Brian Schill

    I got an email supposedly from SS Admin, about the Economic Impact Statement deadline being extended. Is this a spear phishing gambit, or is this for real?

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi Brian, thanks for checking in with us. The email you received is legitimate. The informational email is sent to those with a personal my Social Security account and is directing them to our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for more details. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  7. Jane Armata

    If I gave the theft hacker the last four digits of my social security number do I need to be issued a new social security card?

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Hello Jane, if you think someone is using your Social Security number, there are several actions you can take. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page about this topic. Thanks!

      Reply
  8. marcela perez

    i reciving 4 call 1 786 412 9029 ,she toll me my social es suspender

    Reply
    • Vonda VanTil, Public Affairs Specialist

      Thanks for letting us know, Marcela. 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
  9. Karen B Vincent

    A friend of mine was contacted by a gentleman named Kelvin Owen. He told my friend since he’s on disability, he could get him a payout of $50,000.00 all he had to do was pay him $500.00. I tried to tell him it sounded like a scam. The gentleman told him it was a payment from the government.

    Reply
  10. Tonya Dugar

    I was called this week and wasn’t aware of the scams. They told me my social security number had been in money laundering and that a warrant was out for my arrest. This scared the mess out of me. When l told them what was in my account($21.00) they hung up. I guess l didn’t have enough money for them and I’m glad l didn’t. They are very good at what they do. I called the police and they assured it was a scam and that there was no warrant out for me. They almost got me that’s why lm making this comment.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment. For your safety, please do not post Personally Identifiable Information (such as your Social Security Number, address, phone number, email address, bank account number, or birthdate) on our blog.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *