Fraud, Privacy & Identity

Is that Phone Call From Us?

October 30, 2017 • By

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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Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Comments

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  1. Roy Pedersen

    Received phone call from 855-807-8675. Caller wanted to discuss discrepancies from the 1980s regarding SS with-holding.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Roy, 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. To see if Social Security is working on your earnings discrepancy, you would need to 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  2. Dennis

    My retirement benefit application is pending since 9/14/2020, three months.

    I want the benefits started in Jan 2021.

    The application is with Richmond, Virginia office.

    I can not contact anybody by phone to resolve.

    What can I do?

    Reply
  3. Laura Luhrsen

    I received a Automated phone call from ‭+1 (518) 923-0257‬ at 9:01 am stating my social security number was being suspended as a possible fraud was using it. I hung up.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thanks for letting us know, Laura. 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.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
    • Sarah Nicole Maria

      I just had the same phone call yesterday. So I called my local ss office and they told me that’s a scam. They gave me the fraud hotline number but said I had to file a complaint online. I just got finished doing that. I hope they get caught or prosecuted. It had me in a frenzy of worry & anxiety!

      Reply
      • Sue

        Thanks for letting us know, Sarah. 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 or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

        When you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

        Reply
  4. Robin Tetreault

    Just received a call supposedly from SS coming out of Georgia. The number is 470-529-1564, I didn’t pick up

    Reply
    • Sue

      Thanks for letting us know, Robin. 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 or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. Slade

    I got a call 4 times from 959-566-5899. They said I had a warrant from Texas? I’ve never even been to Texas. I thought it was serious at first and unfortunately gave my full name.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thanks for letting us know, Slade. 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.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. DuVay Knox

    Calls from 800-936-3000 were suspicious at first. But I later verified with SSA via 800-772-1213 that the number was a legitimate field office rep handling SSA/Disability applications originating from online/internet applications.

    Reply
  7. Wayson Hokama

    I just got a letter from the Salinas SSA office but the phone number it wants me to call 855-249-4175 don’t match the phone number on that office website! Is this real or not.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Wayson, thanks for reaching out. Generally, we will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with us. To see if Social Security sent the letter, you would need to 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  8. Ellen N

    I have a phone appointment with social security. I get so many scam calls how will I know it’s really them.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Ellen, thanks for using our blog. If you have personally made an appointment for a specific date and time, then you should receive a call from Social Security on that date and time. You can always call 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.

      Reply
  9. Lucy Merritt

    I keep getting a voicemail message on my phone every day, 5 to 10 times a day. I had to delete my voicemail to get rid of them. I have them blocked on my phone. Went to Metro & they told me to use visual voicemail. The message states, Your Social Security has been compromised. You need to call this number right away. 1-805-637-7243

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thanks for letting us know, Lucy. 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.

      If you receive a suspicious call like this: 1) Hang up. 2) Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards. 3) Report suspicious calls here. For more information on how to protect yourself, check out our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  10. Joyce Taylor

    Received a phone call from 918-492-9008 on Jan 8, 2021 @ 10:52 am; message stated my SSA benefits were being suspended due to legal action being taken against my SS#. I was told to call back and discuss with legal representation.

    Of course, I did not return the call. But have tried to log into my SSA account and it does not recognize my login info, now it’s blocked for 24 hours.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Joyce, thanks for using our blog. Sorry to hear you are having difficulties accessing your my Social Security account. For assistance with your account, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) 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.

      Reply

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