Frauds & Scams

How You Can Help Social Security Protect Others

August 8, 2019 • By

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

Comments

  1. Sandra R.

    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

  2. Theresa m.

    I worry about scams

    • Luis A.

      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.

  3. JOHN F.

    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”.
    ]

    • Luis A.

      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.

  4. Carole L.

    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.

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  6. Carol L.

    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

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Carol. 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. Thanks, again.

  7. George H.

    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.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, George. 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.

  8. Craig R.

    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.

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  10. armando v.

    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

Comments are closed.