Frauds & Scams

IG Warns Public About Fraudulent Phone Calls Threatening Arrest or Legal Action

December 7, 2018 • By

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Last Updated: December 7, 2018

" "The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of telephone impersonation schemes that exploit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) reputation and authority.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continues to receive reports from across the country about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be from SSA.  Recent reports have indicated that unknown callers are using increasingly threatening language in these calls.  The callers state, due to improper or illegal activity with a citizen’s Social Security number (SSN) or account, a citizen will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number to address the issue.  This is a scam; citizens should not engage with these calls or provide any personal information.

SSA employees do contact citizens, generally those who have ongoing business with SSA, by telephone for customer-service purposes.  However, SSA employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information.  In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up.

“Unfortunately, scammers will try anything to mislead and harm innocent people, including scaring them into thinking that something is wrong with their Social Security account and they might be arrested,” Stone said.  “I encourage everyone to remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence.  We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens, so that they can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.”

The OIG recently warned that some of these impersonation calls have “spoofed” SSA’s national customer service phone number, displaying 1-800-772-1213 as the incoming number on caller ID.

The Acting Inspector General urges citizens to be extremely cautious, and to avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.  If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, you should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online at

For more information, please visit media inquiries, please contact Andrew Cannarsa, OIG’s Communications Director, at (410) 965-2671.

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Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director

Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director


  1. Joanne

    I received 2 of these calls.
    I realized these were scam calls bcz person said he was from
    DEPARTMENT of Social Security.

  2. Dan H.

    Thank You!

  3. not s.

    I do the same as you. If I don’t know who is calling me I don’t answer the phone!!!

  4. Charles W.

    I recently received an email supposedly from SSA telling me I had a message from SSA and provided me a link to click to take me to SSA site. I did not click this link, but rather tried to go to the SSA site by typing in the domain name, Saturday Dec 8, 2018, 10:20 AM, and it said the site is not available right now. What’s going on?

    • V.V.

      Hi Charles, thank you for your question. The message could be about the COLA notice. Beneficiaries that are my Social Security users received a courtesy notification indicating a COLA Notice was delivered to their Message Center inbox. In the Message Center inbox, there is an item titled: “Your 2019 Social Security Cost of Living Increase.” When you open the message, there’s a hyperlink to retrieve the online notice. You will also receive a paper notice in the mail but in the future you will have a choice of online or paper notification.

  5. Antoinette P.

    Is terrible how someone can get access to your whole life Apple website that supposed to be secure not only my social security number but my health workers also I screenshot every message or every links from your website for my proof that I was going you guys official government website I wish these things can stop is ruining my son in my life and no one firm SSA. Offices believe me after several calls also walk in at Monroe office

  6. Nichole L.

    Today, at 8:51 am, I got a phone call (recorded message) from 253-220-7253 from a guy pretending to be employed by the Social Security Administration. The message concludes for me to call back immediately because there is an “Arrest Warrant” at a police station associated with my social security number. I called the number back at 8:57 am (today), fully aware it is a scam, but wanted to give them a hard way to go. First, the guy with the same voice from the recorded message answered. Second, he asked for my SS# and I declined. Third, instead of the “Police Department” with a warrant for my arrest it was (according to him) the Drug Enforcement Agency in Washington, DC. I told this man that he will NOT get my SS#, and I will contact the DEA myself and when I did (at 9:03 am) and told them about the call, they said it was a scam and don’t worry there is no arrest warrant for me (which I already knew). I am so sick and darn tired of scare tactics from people like this and want this to come to an end.

    • Sally

      I also got a call very similar to this from supposedly DEA attorney in DC. No was 2028715877

  7. Lesly F.

    Yes i am strongle every day i received call every day scammer promesses me all is about there going to help me to get benefits from ssa disability $ 2,500 a month i am feeling that is a arrasement for a person who sick for more than decades no benefits and get promesses like that.i am strong than ever soon with my 65 years old.happy holidays everyone and happy new years.

  8. Joanne S.

    I received a call from a woman saying that my social security or my husband’s has been fraudulently attacked. the number I was to call back is 469-327-6813.

    • V.V.

      Hi Joanne, thank you for checking in with us. As the recent blog post indicates, there are some Social Security impersonation schemes that we are warning citizens about.

      If you have questions about any communication — email, letter, text or phone call — that claims to be from SSA, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy (TTY number at 1-800-325-0778). You may also report the information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online via

  9. Connie D.

    Just received one of these exact calls this morning. Thus us the 5 or 6 th call in the last 3 days I never answer I let them go straight to voicemail. This newest phone call generated from 7527428433.

  10. John

    Well, we are warned, now what? It is up to each of us to be vigilant. Nothing the government can do to protect stupid.

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