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. Cassie A.

    I have received multiple calls from the “social security administration” stating I have criminal activity linked to my ssn. I called back and they wanted me to verify my ssn and birth date. I told the guy he should have that info and I would only verify the last 4 of my ssn. When he told me no I told him I would confirm this isn’t a scam then i would call back. Obviously it is one after reading articles on here. He said he was located in San Antonio, TX and seemed to get nervous when. I told him I would verify it wasn’t a scam before calling back.

  2. Don G.

    reporting calls fourteen months ago. two or more calls stating illegal activity tied with my number.

    October, 2017: calls coming from: 214-989-6372

  3. Don G.

    reporting a Social Security call. two or more calls stating illegal activity tied with my number.

    call coming from: 870-581-6594.

  4. Marianne L.

    Received 2 calls today stating that I need to call the SS office because my social Sec. number has been associated with illegal activity! I assume this is fraud but double checking. The number they said to call was 937 889-1738
    I did not call the number but felt you should know if this is another scam

  5. Sharon L.

    My husband received on his cell phone today two phone calls threatening legal action with a judgment on his SS immediately if he did not call a certain number back. We knew that it was a scam so hung up. Just wanted to report it as requested be done. Thank you.

  6. Christopher H.

    I received an apparent scam telephone call today 12/13/18. My caller ID displayed “800-772-1213” the SSA main phone number. I didn’t pick up but listened to part of the message interrupted by my answering machine message. The robo-caller sounding message said I need to call the magistrate regarding legal action at 828-XXX-XXXX then closed the message by saying “good luck”.

  7. Theodore W.

    I received such a call just moments ago. The number I was asked to call is (254)488-4837. I ignored the call and am now reporting it to you.

  8. James R.

    I received two calls saying my account had a problem and I would be going to jail for fraud . I’m not collecting Soical Security yet and my wife has a claim in talking with a lawyer over a year. My names is James Traylor Sr. The calls came from two Texas phone number 1-956-633-2076 Santa Rosa TX and 903-213-5069 Caddo Mills TX

  9. Zulema s.

    Thank you for warning me!

  10. Carol L.

    Received a phone call from “Social Security” department today saying that I have criminal activities against my SS number and I have to call 1-210-405-1207 in order to complete this problem. Is this number associated with SS? I am ignoring this at this time and waiting your reply. I do believe this is a scam and I wanted to check with you all first! Please help!. Thank you.

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