Is that Phone Call From Us?

woman talking on the phone It’s the morning of a busy day at home and you get a call from an unknown number. You answer only to find yourself on the receiving end of a threatening message saying your Social Security benefits will stop immediately unless you provide your personal information. It happens every day to thousands of Americans.  And it’s not Social Security calling.

Scammers have many ways to lure their victims into providing information and then stealing their identities. Sometimes they call under a guise of helping you complete a disability application.

Protecting your information is an important part of Social Security’s mission to secure today and tomorrow. SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes.  In only a few special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen confirm personal information over the phone. If you do receive a call from one of our representatives, they will provide you with a telephone number and extension.

The Acting Inspector General for Social Security, Gail Stallworth Stone, urges everyone to stay vigilant of impersonation schemes and to not be afraid to hang up.

You must always remember that you’re in control. Also remember that Social Security will never do any of the following:

  • Call you to demand an immediate payment;
  • Demand that you pay a debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe;
  • Require a specific means of payment, such as requiring you to pay with a prepaid debit card;
  • Ask you for your personal information or credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
  • Threaten you with arrest or deportation.

If you receive one of these scam calls or emails, do not provide them with any information. You should:

  • Hang up immediately;
  • For Social Security impersonations, contact Social Security’s Office of Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

If you receive a notice from Social Security, please use the telephone numbers provided in the notice sent to you. You can also call 1-800-772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov for how to contact Social Security. Remember that scammers try to stay a step ahead of the curve. You can do the same by protecting your information.

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1,626 thoughts on “Is that Phone Call From Us?

  1. I received a call from 1-816-936-3000 asking me to call back to 1-877-772-4309 ext 34868 to discuss my SSA application – I did apply. They also contacted my mom trying to reach me. Is this a scam? Are these numbers legitimate?

    • Hi AC: Thanks for checking in with us. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Because you have recently filed, you should call your local office or our national toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  2. I received a call from 1-816-936-3000 asking me to call back to 1-877-772-4309 ext 34868 saying they need information for my ssa application – which I did file one. Is this phone number an ssa number and is this a legitimate call? They also called my mom trying to get ahold of me.

  3. I received a letter shortly after filing my application online. The address is from Denver, CO, even though I live in another state. The letter lists my local SSA address as well, maybe trying to make it seem legitimate. It includes a “BNC” number. It states that if I don’t call Ms. Elizabeth A. Labelle at 855-369-5447 ext 5083 by April 13, 2020, my claim will not be processed. I see there are a couple of possible scam entries already with this number. I will call the main office when they open on Monday to verify if this is a scam. Seems strange that the letter was received on April 10 with a deadline of April 13.

  4. I received a call from Ms. Aleicia Flores at the Boston Workload Support Unit. Phone # 866-964-7371 X 29297. She also gave me the number to Medicare: 800-633-4227. She said that I recently applied for SS and that I did not answer one of the questions properly. She asked for my mother’s maiden name, and father’s name. She then asked for my SS#, which I refused to give. I told her to call the number to me and I would confirm if it was correct or not. She said that was not the proper procedure and then gave her name and phone number for me to return the call. I told her I would not be calling her nor would I give her my number. I was very reluctant in giving information over the phone in that I heard children in the background and found it odd that SS would call me regarding one question on the application. Was this a scam?

    • Hi Lawrence, thank you for checking in with us. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Because you have recently applied, you should call your local office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. You can also call our national toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

  5. Good Morning,
    Yesterday morning I received a letter in my U.S. postal office box stating that I need to call the Social Security office by May,14 2020 or my benefits would be suspended. Because of domestic abuse issues that became very serious including impersonation of him being my payee representative, re-routing my direct deposit into a past account that we shared at Ripco credt union in Rhinelander, Wi, me being a co joint owner on the account that I believed was closed in 2015 although I never signed any documents with the credit union. I took his word that the he closed the account. I tried to investigate into the matter and was told that this by a teller”I was told not to talk to you about the account”. Later after i found stsatments from my credt union, CoVantage credit union showing zero deposits and zero transactions I called again to Ripco credit union expressing my concerns. I was told that she could not discuss Timothy J Griffons account, I completely understand and respect privacy and legal rights. I then asked if there were in fact direct deposits into his account from the Social Security Administration for me with my name and social security number, would she inform me? I was told no i was not able to look into my concerns with them. I know that he fraudlenly in many different ways was monitoring me. I believe electronically he has asses to to my social security online, my Aspirus medical account and also my banking information that was all on my smart phone. It is my believe through purchasing identical phones and/or sim card switching he was has control of these accounts which i was signed into. This has been ongoing since December 2017.
    On March 28, 2020 my apartment started on fire. I lost everything including my beloved companion Petri, a cat I had for many years. I have been homeless since then. I have finally found thankfully a wonderful shelter Fredrick Place 204 Fredrick Street in Rhinelander Wi. 715-369-9777. My name is Kandy Kay Howard ss# *** – ** – ***. Please help me sort this out and help identify if the letter is fraud or scam. I did not receive a benefit check for April 2020 only a letter stating to contact Mrs Wine from the Social Security Administration by May 14 2020 or my benefits would be suspended. The letter was stamped “URGENT”.
    I am homeless, broke and afraid. I have begun reaching out to samsha and other federal disaster victim relief agencies. Thank You

    • Hi Kandy, thank you for using our blog. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  6. How can I verify a phone # for the Richmond, CA office. I received a phone call and an email today with a phone # and extension and a name to speak to. I do expect to receive a request on whether I want spousal benefits because I applied for my social security benefits to begin soon. I want to be certain, though, that I am not giving info. to a wrong person. This # does not show up anywhere I find info. on the SSA website.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Leslie, thank you for checking in with us. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Because you recently applied for benefits, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  7. Will ssa contact me by email requesting that I reply back by email rather than calling the 1 800 842 0588 number provided? I recently applied for retirement benefits, and “Anita” wanted to discuss some additional entitlement options prior to processing my application.

    • Hi Doug, thank you for checking in with us. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed. Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      Our employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Because you have recently applied, you should call us at 1-800-772-1213 or your local office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  8. Months ago a lady called me & asked me “do you need money” as for my daily needs & she mentioned something about my income tax. I received forms to fill out applying myself applying for SSI benefits then I mailed them (there were pages). It’s been 3-4 months or more that I haven’t received a reply or anything from them! Then just lately a Mac Donald Law firm that they can help me file for SSA, SSI or any benefits from the government asking me for appointment via phone to talk about it.

    • Hi Dolores: If the caller is claiming to be from Social Security—it is critical that you pay attention to the tone and content of the message from the caller. In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of your personal information, such as your Social Security number (SSN), on file. Other callers claim Social Security needs additional information so the agency can increase your benefit payment, or they threaten that Social Security will terminate your benefits if they do not confirm your information. This appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from people across the country. These calls are not from Social Security.

      If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security, we urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your SSN or bank account information. Never reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you, and never send the stranger money via wire transfer or gift cards.

      Social Security 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 or pay a fee. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up. If you receive these calls, report the information to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online at oig.ssa.gov/report.

  9. I received an e mail that said the SSA had tried to call me and that I need to call a Mr Alderman at a 800 number and extension ! Stayed in the E mail that it is about my benefit filing ? The person said he is in Chicago ? I love in Memphis ! The e mail is from Ssa workload support unit 9 floor and a POBox no address Chicago ?

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