Frauds & Scams

Is that Phone Call From Us?

October 30, 2017 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

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.
  • 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 ssa.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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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

  1. Anne H.

    I’m not sure the message I received was necessary. When did you begin the policy of sending such messages? At what date? I have never before received one.
    A COLA of 2% is nothing to brag about, by the way.

  2. Lesly F.

    HI, MR SSA WHAT WE GOING TO DO TO MAKE PEOPLE STOP SCARE FROM SKAMERS IN THIS COUNTRY…!

    • Ice

      Be smarter than they are.

    • Indie A.

      What’s a “skamer”?

  3. Franklin L.

    Hi! Good Afternoon,
    Mr. Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications U.S. Social Security Administration.
    It has been enough important for me your getting alert
    safety concerns for permitting me to know the best
    method observation been done for avoid anyone treating to make Fraud or Scam on my Social Security
    Identity through my awarded already won benefits.

    Very Truly Yours,

    Franklin L. Hernandez,
    U.S. Citizen,
    Dominica/American,
    accountant-Legal Services
    Income Tax Specialist and Technician.

    Beneficiary valued Sum Worth Through issued Credit been received from U.S. Federal Reserve Bank Board New York, issued by Honorable Lady Economist Dr.
    J a n e t L. Y e l l e n, United States Federal Reserve Board Chairman/Empower Chief. At 33 Liberty Street, N.Y. 10045, United States.

    Email: hernandezpena64@yahoo.com
    Mailing Address:
    P.O. BOX 322088 New York, N.Y.10032-0512

    Registered Physical Address:
    440 Beach 58th. Street. Arverne, N.Y. 11692
    (USPS P.O. BOX 322088 New York, N.Y. 10032-0512).
    United States Registered Permanent Address:
    72-66 Fort Washington,Avenue, Apt. 4, New York, N.Y.
    10032 (P.O BOX 322088 New York,N.Y. 10032-0512)

    Marital Status:
    Unmarried/Divorced-Single(Not Fiancee)
    Race: Hispanic/Latino Ethnic: American Indian/White.
    I was Born in the Metropolis of Saint Domingo, National District, Dominican Republic.

    New York State
    New York County
    UNITED STATES
    Monday, October 30th. 2017

  4. Hospitals &.

    To respect the moral and material interests of the author, to end poverty by 2020, or even want to be a taxpayer in 2019 when the duty to file stops and the voluntary UN contributions start, a new Hospitals & Asylums (HA) 7th stage of Democratic-Republican (DR) two-party system development in the United States (US), that is able to make law in its parliamentary majority, is ordered: (a) To amend the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour 2009-2017 to ‘$7.50 in 2018 and 3% more every year thereafter.’ under 29USC§206(a)(1)(D). (b) To provide 14 weeks of (unemployment compensation) paid Maternity Protection under ILO Convention 183 (2000). (c) To amend the 1.8% DI tax rate starting January 1, 2019 in Sec. 201(b)(1)(T) of the Social Security Act under 42USC§401(b)(1)(T) to either (c-1) 2.1% DI tax, or (c-2) 2.0% DI tax if OASI pays $240 billion including 2.5% interest in assets for CY09-CY15 to replicate to the extent possible revenue that would have been received if the OASDI tax had been properly adjusted by Public Law 112-96. (d) To replace the Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base under Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC§430 with ‘There is created in the Treasury a Supplemental Security Income Trust Fund.’ (d-1) To tax the rich the full 12.4% Old Age Survivor and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Federal Income Contribution Act (FICA) on all their income to pay 16-24 million children growing up poor SSI benefits CY18 and end poverty by 2020. (e) To end benefit attrition with a 3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) rule every year inflation continues to run about 2.7% and the Trust Fund Ratio is greater than 20% under Sec. 215(i) of the Social Security Act 42USC§415(i). To make an exception to the rule to pay $777 mo. SSI a 5.7% COLA is needed from CY17, a 2.7% COLA CY18 followed by 3% COLA to $777 SSI CY19 and 3% COLA every year thereafter. (e) To create in the Treasury a UN Trust Fund.

    To pass judgment the International Court of Justice shall vote: (1) To set FY 18 State Department spending levels at 2.5% growth from a comparison of FY 17 & FY 18 budget justifications, for total congressional budget authority, ranging from a false high of $60.3 billion FY17 to $57.5 billion FY 17 and $56.7 billion FY 18 with due process of certain international security assistance terminations, as undistributed offsetting receipts. (2) To create in the US Treasury a UN Trust Fund for interest income to be derived from the resolution of this dispute and receipt of UN Contributions from other US sources. To dedicate the ‘UN Trust Fund to pay cash social security benefits to people world-wide living below the international poverty line ($1.25 a day in 2008) or withdrawal for Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 purposes by UN General Assembly resolution’, naming the US. (3) To direct the US Ambassadors to the United Nations to begin to self-determinately produce a duplicate annual Contributions to the United Nations and Affiliated Organizations, congressional budget justification table, arbitrarily based upon the calculation of 2.5% annual administrative outlay growth, new UN Trust Fund to earn interest on undistributed US cash payments to the UN and estimate total US ODA = congressional budget authority + private international assistance. To pay UNESCO $47 million FY 18, for the first time in recorded history of US contributions. (4) To adopt the formula for calculating US official development assistance as – total State Department congressional budget authority + private philanthropic assistance = ODA – for the purposes of the non-parentally controlled, unsupervised, encrypted wifi and Apple computers of the UN Statistical Commission and UN Development Program. (5) To impose a (3% = $6 billion in 2015?) up to 6% US-UN tariff on US gas, oil, coal and electricity energy exports to punish the contempts of an oil baron to evade and defeat taxes under 26USC§7201. To keep US coastal areas and weather free of oceanic hydrocarbon heating pumps, whose use is extremely limited to making wind in the direction of oceanic hydrocarbon cooling pumps for hurricane prevention and rainmaking to end drought and forest fires, that must be turned off when not in use fighting arson within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction under 18USC§81. (6) To seize $6 billion in US foreign military finance, international military education, international law enforcement and narcotic control graft, to prohibit all prima facie terrorism finance by the State Department under 18USC§2339C. To distribute the lion’s share of reparations for Human Rights Council S-21/1 Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem of July 24, 2014 to a “Palestine Supreme Court”, does it exist in English, Hebrew and/or even Arabic? (6a) To reduce total FY 18 State Department spending, future estimates and ODA by $6 billion. (6b) To appropriate this $6 billion + 2.5% annual growth, for the foundation of the UN Trust Fund. (7) To print ‘Voluntary UN Contribution, 1-2% of income suggested donation.’ on quarterly and April 15 tax forms. (8) To amend Foreign Relations and Intercourse (a-FRaI-d) Title 22 of the United States Code to Foreign Relations (FR-ee).

    Customs (CC) http://www.title24uscode.org/customs.pdf

    To supplement Chapter 5 Columbia Institution for the Deaf §231-250 repealed, 12th edition. To provide 14 weeks of paid Maternity Protection under ILO Convention 183 (2000). To settle perennial 2.5% annual outlay growth to $56.7 billion FY18 from a high of $57.5 billion FY 17 state department and international assistance congressional budget authority. To receive congressional budget authority of $57.5 billion FY 17 and $56.7 billion FY 18 + ~ $33 billion private aid = $57 billion – $90 billion US ODA = 0.28% – 0.46% of GDP > 0.17% OECD estimate FY 18. To commission tax forms for voluntary UN Contributions 1-2% of income suggested donation. To amend Title 22 Foreign Relations and Intercourse (a-FRaI-d) to Foreign Relations (FR-ee) and Title 6 of the United States Code, Title 6 of the Federal Code of Regulations and the name of the Department of Homeland Security to “Customs”. To change the name of the Court of International Trade of the United States (CoITUS) to Customs Court (CC) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to Naturalization Service (USNS). To reduce the price of a work visa to a $500 tax withholding under 26USC§1441. To sell state IDs, drivers licenses and passports at equal price to those who are born, naturalized or in some state of naturalization in the United States, and issue special travel documents for stateless persons under common articles 26-29 of the Conventions Relating to the Status of Refugees and Stateless Persons of 1951 and 1954 respectively. To settle claims for compensation with a Palestine Supreme Court relating to Human Rights Council S-21/1 Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem of July 24, 2014. To abolish all foreign military finance, International Narcotic Control and School of the Americas, and transfer all $6 billion annual treason to fund the UN. To change the name of UN Office of Drugs and Crime (ODC) to Office of Crime (OC). To exempt corticosteroid inhalers from the 2020 ozone export ban under the Montreal Protocol. To sell doxycycline, clindamycin, metronidazole, ampicillin and corticosteroids inhalers in hospitals and by the blind on federal property. To extinguish oceanic heating pumps and forest service fires to reduce arson within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction under 18USC§81 and the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or any other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) of 1978. To support Russia and Canada to remove heating pumps polluting the arctic marine environment and weather of the Hudson Bay and Arctic Ocean with new U.S Coast Guard search and rescue ice-breaker under the Polar Code of January 1, 2017. To remove the artificial heating belt in Atlantic and Indian Ocean waters 40°S by magnetic cable and warship or oil tanker to end the drought in East Africa; rain in October. To protect coral reefs worldwide; the East and Gulf Coasts including the Caribbean against hurricanes by reducing water temperature to <80° F using US Patent 20020008155, US 20080175728 A1 using cooling pumps held by AS Trust & Holding Co. US 20080175728 A1. To place cooling pumps in the West coast to neutralize the dry Santa Anna wind and create clouds to extinguish forest fires in the Northwest with silver iodide missiles pursuant to Rainmaker US 1966 3,429,507. To remove fallen trees from waterways to reduce flood risk. To elect a Secretary and ratify a Statement of the United Nations (SUN). http://www.title24uscode.org/sun.pdf

    • Linda C.

      ? Does this have anything to do with scams? I didn’t quite get it. Thanks.

  5. Jack W.

    Thank you for the information. I am always getting calls from scammers saying I have some type of grant, or other stupid things, and I just hang up. They eventually get tired of calling.

  6. Marc

    My ex spouse falls for every scam that comes down the pike, and never fails to drag me into it. I’ll get a frantic call from her every couple of months
    about how how the IRS is sending the sheriff out for $10000 in “back taxes,” or “delinquent student loans” or whatever and of course, she just wants to “warn” me because I’m supposedly responsible & I’ll be hearing from them because she gave them my information. She actually ended up getting stuck paying on some loan neither of us owed because she simply will not believe me when I tell her she’s dealing w/a scam. Some “student debt relief” person left voicemails for her & because I have a degree, she immediately assumed it was a legit caller on “my” student loan – which had been paid off for decades. (I’ve still got all the documentation backed up in the cloud, from initial application, receipts, correspondence, to payoff.) But she refused to believe it, insisting it was MY bill & kept nagging me to make up all the “late” payments because they threatened to send her to collections. I’m not sure how, or if she’s even telling the truth (frankly, I suspect she may be developing more than a touch of dementia), but she claims she’s now having to make monthly payments on “my” loan & says she’s hiring a lawyer to make me pay. Arrrrrrgh!!!!!! I know I’m in the clear but I resent having to waste my time defending myself in court because my ex fell for her 10th scam this year. Computer viruses, links in emails, infected downloads, phone calls, mail order scams, get rich quick schemes, door to door Kirby salemen (she bought a $4000 vacuum sweeper from them!!!), they see her coming for miles. I only wish she’d leave me out of it. Hope she doesn’t screw up my Social Security if she gets one of these calls…..

  7. Lesly F.

    NO BODY CALL ME BECAUSE I HAVE DEAL WITH SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AND IN MY CLAIM SSA DENIED ME EVEN I AM DIABETIC AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SSA DENIED I AM NOT SICK OR GET ANY SICKNESS I AM THINKING BEHIND WHAT IS IT LIKE HUMANS AND CITIZENS IN THIS COUNTRY….!

    • Ice

      FYI–using all Upper Case Letters in an e-message indicates you are yelling. Perhaps you wanted to yell?

      • Kavius

        I think it is good you took the time to inform someone of a “rule of etiquette” (Being somewhat computer culture ignorant myself, I don’t know if there’s actual legitimized protocol covering things of this nature) and I do appreciate the approach you chose ie.. state the fact regarding the use of caps and then recognizing that they may have intended it . I am void at the moment of any ideas of how one might respectfully acknowledge other possibles that could give rise to that use of caps. For example, perhaps the person commenting has vision problems and is unfamiliar with the adaptive features available to assist them. Just a thought.

        • j

          Caps girl, may not be able to type…idk why caps indicates yelling…it’s stupid, i would say more can not type.

      • doornazi

        being diabetic maybe she has a vision problem do not assume she is yelling

        • June

          Just stressing a point.

        • Indie A.

          Typing in all caps on the internet indicates shouting. If there’s a reason caps are used, the poster should indicate that. (I’ve seen where a poster indicates that.)

  8. Larry M.

    Good advice. Thanks.

    • Debbie

      I got a call threaten me with fraud Dept n a number to call it was a robotic voice be careful

  9. Ronald C.

    Enormously helpful–thanks!!

  10. Ronnie R.

    I keep getting calls from people saint I been given a grant from the government and I don’t have to pay it back,an then they say I will need to give them 250$ to get it they sound like Indians decent always from the same area they called last week the area code is 202 but they change it real fast the number they call is a government number (254-498-4061)Ronnie Williams I susceptible the will call one day this week.

    • George A.

      This a phone nimber that called me today saying that they needed my information for some reas9n or other. I thought you might want the number786 206 3952. They answered as the social security administration. I have life lock and I knew it was a scam, but I just wanted to play along just to see what kind of information they were looking for. I didnt give them anything and hung up. There were lot of foreign sounding people on phones and must be so.e people are falling for this. Just thougjt I would let you know this.

    • Nicole P.

      I got that same call!!! I had to get at $200 e-bay card to receive my $9,000 western Union.they said i was getting the $ bc i never filed bankruptcy and i dont have debt owed to the IRS. Which is true i do not own credit cards.i pay cash for everything.but they said that there is no rush bc its MY $. I asked WHY do i have to pay $200 oit of MY pocket to get MY $ frm the government???? They said getting the e-bay card will register me in the system or something but i get the $200 back with the $9,000.so it would be $9,200. Makes no sense to me.the number was a Washington DC phone number….. 202-656-6425

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