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. Katherine l.

    I received a call yesterday I tried to get the number but the recording hung up.Katherine ley

    • Jenna Y.

      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.

  2. Robert V.

    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 ( 1-800 telephone numbers do not work from my location I live outside of the U.S.

  3. Jane G.

    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.

    • Reggie S.

      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

  4. Lesly F.

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

  5. Ron B.

    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

  6. Cindy

    I have had the same calls and reported them

  7. Allison

    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…

    • REGINA T.

      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.

  8. carols


    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. P.J.

    Why Do Those Scum-Bags Scam People?

  10. Virginia

    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.

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