Frauds & Scams

How You Can Help Social Security Protect Others

August 8, 2019 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

" "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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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. John J.

    Instead of giving links why not just publish the phone number for the OIG and the FTC?

  2. Norm B.

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

  3. Diane

    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.

  4. Angie S.

    I am the editor of an email that goes to about 10,000 retirees. Can I reprint this post in our newsletter?

  5. Donna L.

    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?

  6. Barbara R.

    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.

    • John J.


  7. Derek R.

    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

  8. Linda F.

    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.

    • Dawn

      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
      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

      • Dawn O.

        No one came
        Monday I’m going to the social security office to find out what I need to do

  9. Ted H.

    Thanks a lot for the information.

  10. MICHAEL J.

    Thanks for the information about the scam!

Comments are closed.