How You Can Help Social Security Protect Others

" "Scams have become an unfortunate part of doing business online or via phone. Many people have received a call or voicemail from someone warning them that their Social Security number or benefits are suspended due to suspicious activity. It’s an alarming scam and one we must help people identify so that they do not become the next victim.

We, at Social Security, are serious about protecting the information entrusted to us. In the past year, we’ve posted a series of blogs about how our beneficiaries can protect their information from scammers and what to do when they receive a call from someone pretending to be us.

We are teaming up with other government agencies and organizations to help spread these tips. Most recently, we worked with the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to create a new fraud prevention placemat to help you avoid Social Security scams. We’ve also worked with the Administration for Community Living and the Office of the Inspector General to develop and publish educational resources to help the public spot these schemes and avoid becoming victims themselves. The resources include a video, factsheets, and materials on how we can protect the elderly from fraud.

These resources are free and easily shareable. You can find the video about how you can help Social Security protect your information on our website. You can download the factsheet Protecting Your Information by visiting the Office of the Inspector General’s website. You can also check out the National Center on Elder Abuse for materials about preventing the financial exploitation of our older citizens.

We believe that knowing how to tell the difference between a scam and a genuine call from Social Security is important. You can help us protect the people you serve. These are some things to remember:

  • Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
  • Never give out personal information such as your account numbers, passwords, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, or other identifying information if a call seems suspicious.
  • Government employees will not threaten to take away benefits or ask for money or personal information to protect your Social Security card or benefits.
  • If you receive a call from someone asking for your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card information, don’t engage this caller. Instead, hang up and report that information to the Office of Inspector General via their online fraud-reporting form. You should also report these calls to the Federal Trade Commission.

Scammers are hard at work every day. Together, we can help safeguard the American public. Please help us spread the word.

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70 thoughts on “How You Can Help Social Security Protect Others

  1. I got this call. When they wanted to know what my SS number was I hung up on them. If they were legitimate they would already have my number. I called SS and reported them.

    • I received a call Friday it got me So upset that I barely could talk
      Asked the last 4 of my social
      Was my address the same and to verify it asked me if I had ever been ito Texas
      “ I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO TEXAS “ If I’d ever had my wallet stolen or lost
      “ YES MANY YEARS AGO “
      Told me my identification was being used in Texas and that theirs two drug charges on me and a bust on an apartment found information on me They Said but Unfortunately no one was there that they found very large amounts of drugs and money The car was found at the border registered in my name said Texas has a Warrant and currently looking for me
      I can’t even explain how I’m feeling at this Point
      Asked me what time would I be available the next day I said 11
      They said and associate of Social Security and the sheriff were going to bring me all the documentation on everything inTexas
      That my Social Security number had been cancelled immediately they said When they Came they will go through all of the documentation paperwork and will be issuing me a new one

  2. How true! These scams look enticing but we have to be absolutely cautious by understanding them and not to accede to their criminal mindsets.
    More training or advice should be done for those who are vulnerable.
    Thankfully I am fully aware of the messages that you send out regularly to inform all recipients of these scams

  3. At moment am talking to s persin supposedly from CSBG. He says him named is Jim Thompson. He says they want to charge me $500. to receive a $50,000. dollar grant. Told him I didn’t have the money but he sais I could pay them on the 12th of this month. I thought to get grant money you didn’t have to pay any money. He said it was for ship and handling.

  4. Concerns-In connection w/Equifax issues, one is recommended to the Fed Trade Assoc where they can find out if your account has been hacked. You are asked for your last name and the last 6 #s of your SSN. This is extremely troubling for those of us w/disabilities. Would you please advise as to what one should do?

  5. This is great information to have and to know about, yes, I have been scammed by a computer company and I was taken for $1,295.I did notify the federal trade commission.
    Thank you for the information and I will be looking into it.

  6. Thank You! I am retired SSA from the CO and Field offices. I still give SS presentations! Staying connected at FCOA

  7. Thank you for this information. I was not aware of this threat, though I suspected there would be some sort of a ti ity by criminals to obtain info illegally.

  8. Suggestion:

    Anyone with a Soc Sec number who is convicted of perpetrating a Soc Sec scam will lose their current/future Soc Sec benefits . . . forever!

    thank you for the info.

  9. I wish reporting a scam call were easier to do. The FTC at least, though easy to find, has a very long form to fill out. I get so many that I’d never have time for anything else! I had a scam call this morning that threatened to close the account. I have a call blocker but still get way too many. If more people reported maybe there would be less of these alarming scam calls. I let the answering machine do the call screening, about 99% are hang ups. I’ve been fooled a few times mainly tech support BS, but worth about missing important calls from doctors that use anonymous caller it’s to with good intentions are just protecting patients’ privacy! Thanks for trying to educate people from being scammed but technology is sorely lagging to prevent hackers from quickly out smarting the small steps blocking and reporting scams. Sigh…

    • I was just looking for a spot to report the horrendous “reporting” system — you wait on the phone forever only to have to push buttons that lead nowhere — I just want to speak to a human, give them the # I keep getting calls from. I don’t want to spend hours on the phone/computer simply to say STOP THESE CALLS. BLOCKING #S IS USELESS — THEY JUST CALL FROM ANOTHER LINE.

  10. I went to the social security office with In the last two weeks. Since then i have halved three calls about me being arrested. Is someone in the Swansee office in IL selling the info. Strange i never received these calls until i went to the social security office.
    Ron Brown

  11. I am a victim from others i work before they didn’t pay social security taxes.now i have no benefits from ssa i earn 25 on 40 earning i have no help to get ssdi now i am elderly disabled

  12. I had two calls today informing me that social security s said I had been involved in fraud activity. I called back and said they were scams and not call me again. Last week I had five calls in one day and they said they had warrants out for my arrest due to my fraudulent activity. They didn’t leave a phone number then.

    • I got 3 calls like that this week. Said they had an arrest warrant on me for fraudulent activity involving my SSN. Told me to dial 1 to connect to the law enforcement officer handling the case….Never got through to a live person…. I than hung up

  13. How do I know that YOU are not a fraud? Or some kind of scam? You are asking for the same information as scammers are asking for. Prove to me that you are a rep. from SS. The only way to contact me is through my e-mail address (bobveach16@yahoo.com) 1-800 telephone numbers do not work from my location I live outside of the U.S.

    • Hi, Katherine. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. Thanks, again.

  14. I received one of these calls and knew Social Security would not contact me by phone, so I, immediately, reported it to the Federal Trade Commission. Beware, these calls sound very sincere.

  15. Mr. Thompson also said Ihad to pay $500. to get $%50,000. dollar grant. I thought you didn’t have to pay anything to get a gtant.

  16. I keep receiving calls from Marathon Florida 786-625-4410
    The message is ” Hello this is an official final notice fro Social Security Administration”
    They recommend calling 786-625-4410

    I think this is a scam and the constant messages irritating and disturbing, I believe they target seniors like me
    It should be investigated and stopped at once

    Thank You

    • Thanks for checking in with us, Mario. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. Thanks, again.

  17. received call: (800) 831-5992
    “Dear Citizen, there has been a problem with your social security number, so your social security benefits have been cancelled. press #1 to discuss this…”

    • Hi C Lin. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  18. I have recieved many calls about credit cards and social security. I just hang up or delete the answering machine. Should I do more?

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  20. I just received a voicemail saying my social security was in suspension notice. That they were from the federal crime and investigation dept. and to call 801-418-9250.

  21. Today I received 4 separate calls on my cellphone with a recording saying that my SS number was compromised and that it would be suspended. One I answered, but it was a recording so I didn’t go further. The other three went to voicemail. One was from Sri Lanka, one from Denton Texas, the other 2 United States.

  22. I got a phone call from a man informing me that my S.S. number was bring use to commit fraud. I hang up and emailed S.S

  23. Today i received a phone message my Social Security number had been suspended. I assumed it was a scammer and called the number left in the message and it was never answered. I will block the number on my phone.

  24. I have received 4 calls today from the “office of social security” from 4 different numbers:
    714-989-9550
    714-191-8849
    302-608-9716
    509-404-0608
    All with the same recorded male voice.
    Perhaps you can track down these robocallers and shut them down.

  25. To whom it may concern I have just received a phone call from this number 1888 827 8945 telling me I need to push one for help because my benefits are going to be suspended due to suspected activities of my number I hung up on them .I just want to let some one know

  26. We have received a couple of calls lately. Caller ID just says “800 service” and the calling number is 888-905-5387. Recording says they are calling from the “Department of Social Security” and our number will be suspended due to suspicious activity. A couple of warning signs: which number? Our household has 8. SSA does not call itself the “Department of” so it’s pretty obvious this is not a legitimate call. In addition, most federal agencies send snail mail if they need to contact you.

  27. I get calls around the end of the month saying that my social security number has been suspended.It goes on to say that if I dont cooperate I will be reported to the “higher authorities”.
    ]

    • Hi John. Thank you for letting us know about these calls. We do not usually make random calls. If you or anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams here. We hope this helps.

    • Hi Theresa. If you or anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams here. We hope this helps.

  28. I called Social Security Administration national toll free phone number…I the automated telephone system asked for my social security number that I gave….I was put on hold about 1 hour…however the female that finally answered my call wanted my full name including my middle name and my social security number…I provided each…I am always told they need the information to verify I am who I say I am…this particular call I was then placed on hold long time…same female never returned to the phone…she has my complete name, social security number

  29. I I received a call on 8/31/2019 from this number (833)255-0645 I did not answer, a message was left that I was being contacted because there has been some suspicious activity with my social security number.

    • Hi Marrow. Thank you for letting us know about these calls. We do not usually make random calls. If you or anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams here. We hope this helps.

  30. I got a call asking me for my social security from the social security office. I gave them a make up number and they told me that was the correct number, so they hung up.

    • Hi Robert. Thank you for letting us know about these calls. We do not usually make random calls. If you or anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams here. We hope this helps.

  31. I received a call this morning (09/10/19) that my SS# was frozen because of fraudulent use. I hung up on them. The phone# is: 888-420-5119

    • Hi Joan. Thank you for letting us know about these calls. We do not usually make random calls. If you or anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams here. Just a reminder – please be cautious about posting personal information on social media. We hope this helps.

  32. An acquaintance of mine told me that he received a notice(not sure if it was telephone or mail) that his social security number had been compromised. So now, ssa is investigating this fraud and he claims they will not allow him to use his social security number until the investigation is completed. My question is: Is this immediate protocol to suspend his social security number? Because in my eyes, this information seems rather fishy to me. This acquaintance hasn’t had a job in a rather long time and I have a hunch he is making all this up so he doesn’t have to get a job and help pay his way. Does this sound like a familiar “scam” and did these scammers actually take his social security number or is this a true statement from this acquaintance?

    • Hi Leslie. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a site specific to Social Security scams, here. We hope this helps.

  33. To whom this may concern, my name is Mark Edward Lawrence 1752 . I am an IPE (Individual Protective Equipment) Specialist here on Scott Air force Base IL. Our job here is facilitate service members that are deploying with their personal protective gear for their safety; Example: Gas Mask, IOTV (Improved Outer Tactical Vest) Bulletproof plates/side plates, CBRNE (Chemical Biological Radiological and Explosive materials) JSLIST (Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology) Etc… I was in the United States Navy stationed in Japan in 1988. I became a DOD Civilian in 2009 working on NAF Atsugi Base Japan to be able to help service members and their families. I transferred to Scott Air Force Base August 06 2014 to work for LRM/LGRMSI (Logistics Readiness Squadron). Approximately 3 months after my arrival I started working the counter actually waiting on the customers as they arrived to pick up their mobility gear. In order to receive a gas mask from my job a service member has to have an updated M50 Gas Mask Fit Test provided by the Medical Group BIO-environmental department (indicating the service member’s tested mask size). This paper has the service member’s first, middle and last name on it along with their squadron name, mask size, contact number, rank, weight, glasses Y/N, test numbers and finally their SSN (Social Security Number). Our objective before issuing out a gas mask here is to make sure the service member has a current Fit Test and ID Card; the only numbers we care about here are on the reverse side of the ID Card called the EDIPI (The Department of Defense identification number, formerly referred to as the Electronic Data Interchange Personal Identifier (EDIPI), is a unique 10-digit number that is associated with personnel and their Common Access Card (CAC). The service members SSN that is on the fit test is used only at Bio-environmental to differentiate service members with the same names and or other reasons related. I immediately began pointing this out to the service members telling them they should blacken out those numbers to prevent identity thief. For months I began speaking to higher ranked individuals picking up gear pointing out their SSN on the fit test and how it shouldn’t be on there. I also suggested to the higher ranked service members that they should teach their lower ranked younger generation on the dangers of someone getting a hold off their SSN. After 2 years and 2 months of pointing this out to our visiting service members to no avail there was an opportunity for change! Approx. October 2017 the base had an Exercise that was a (Mock Deployment Readiness Drill) that included approx. 300-500 service members participating. Everyone was required a gas mask be issued to them, the day of the exercise Bio-environmental sent approximately 3 employees (One of Bio’s staff was Airmen Jarrett Davis) to our warehouse where our breakroom was transformed into an miniature test site to test and issue new fit test for the ones that failed to bring their original one or needed an updated version.. After the first Chalk (first group of 50-60 people) there was a little down time for my coworkers and I so took that time to speak with the Bio-environmental staff in the back and asked who the highest was ranked among them, after that was established I began telling the story I am telling now. I stressed the unnecessary placing of the service members SSN on the fit test and the only numbers we were focused on is located on the back of their ID card. I told the individual(s) to please take this concern to his/their higher ups and hopefully they will act on this imminent threat on the possible ID Thief of our service men and women. I am happy to say 8 out of 10 fit tests read…XXX-XX-0000. Now when someone comes in with a fit test that has their full SSN on it I inform them that after training they should take their old fit test back to Bio and let them shred it and request the new one with the SSN only showing their last four. I care about all the service members around the world, making this change here on Scott Air Force Base is just the beginning. If we can make this change military wide I guarantee identity thief among service members will drop dramatically. Imagine a young man or women entering the United States Military, then they start building a career after that they build a family. Now imagine after they proudly finished serving their country and decide to buy their first home or car, or even apply for their first credit card and they find out their identity has been stolen. Now imagine the work it’s going to take those families to regain control of their lives to start moving forward. This very example is why I fight to protect the identification of our service men and women around the world.

    V/r

    Mark Lawrence WG-05 IPE Section 375th Logistic Readiness Squadron

    M-Flight Alternate Safety Monitor – M-Flight Fall Protection Program Monitor

    DSN: 576-2512/Comm. 618-256-2512

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