Frauds & Scams

Social Security Informing You About Recent Scams

September 10, 2020 • By

Last Updated: September 10, 2020

The most effective way to defeat scammers is to know how to identify scams. You should just hang up on any call you’re uncertain of and ignore suspicious emails.  Scammers are always finding new ways to steal your money and personal information by exploiting your fears.

One common tactic scammers use is posing as federal agents and other law enforcement. They may claim your Social Security number is linked to a crime. They may even threaten to arrest you if you do not comply with their instructions. Just hang up.

As a reminder, you should continue to remain vigilant of phone calls when someone says there’s a problem with your Social Security number or your benefits. If you owe money to Social Security, we will mail you a letter explaining your rights, payment options, and information about appealing.

There are a few ways you can identify a scam call. If you do business with us, remember that we will never:

  • Threaten you with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee.
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment.
  • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card.
  • Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem.
  • Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

If you do not have ongoing business with our agency, it is unlikely we will contact you. If you get a suspicious call claiming to be from Social Security, you should hang up and report it to our Office of the Inspector General.


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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Comments

  1. Warren B.

    I keep getting phone calls stating that my Social Security number has been frozen and that my benefits are in jeopardy . I know that these calls are scams and hang up. I am just making sure that you folks are aware of these calls. Also I immediately block the calls.

    • Vonda V.

      Thanks for letting us know, Warren. 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.

  2. Anh L.

    I have been receiving calls from the number: 408-712-4801 saying my SS# was involved in scam. I just keep hanging up every time and have now blocked this number. I hope my comment will lead to an arrest soon.

    • Vonda V.

      Thanks for letting us know, Anh Le. 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.

  3. Nature's S.

    nsh@atozinc.com Received phone call referencing that a social security number has been compromised? Because Nature’s Storehouse has four employees, the automated caller did not specify who, but just that a social security number was compromised in the southern part of Texas…Phone number on our caller ID 727-286-6083… Please let us know what happens from here. Our phone number is 727-862-6878. Thank you, Linda

    • Vonda V.

      Thanks for letting us know, Linda. 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.

  4. Peter F.

    LUCKY YOU. I was robbed by fraud and it’s been a year and the SS fraud office Inspector General, hasn’t done ANYTHING — AT ALL.

  5. Peter J.

    In OCT 2019, I notified the local SS of that I had not received my benefits for the months of AUG and SEP. The first worker found where the funds had been transferred from y account and where it went to. I was told that I should get it in the next mount’s mailing (NOV). Well, that didn’t happen. I returned to the local SS office. Another working at that time took the same information, and previous notes and informed me “… you’ll have to track this yourself because WE DON’T do that anymore. Instead causing a riot, I left. I returned in FEB and spoke with a Mrs. Allen. She again retrieved my case and informed me that I should receive my two (2) benefit checks by 30 MARCH. Was given a number to call to contact her if that didn’t happen. Since APR I’ve tried contacting her, at least twice week, and all I ever get is a recording with instructions to leave my number and she would be contacted later. I have contacted the Inspector General’s and several and twice I was informed that the check had been cut and should be in the mail. The biggest problem I’m a disabled VN vet I find myself after a year I’m facing Eviction from my home because I cannot pay utility bills, mortgage, and eat because I am playing catch every month over $3,000.00 short. . .

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Peter, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. You can contact your local Social Security office. 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.

      You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form, where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

  6. Jesse C.

    I just get a call from some one who say they were from the Social security

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Jesse. 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.

  7. Phyllis

    I always receive my SS check on the 4th Thursday of the month. I have not received my check which goes directly into my bank account. I have exhausted my unemployment and have no income and need to pay bills.
    My chances of finding a job are slim to none since I will be 69 in December.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Phyllis, thank you for using our blog. The birthday of the person whose record they receive benefits under determines their payment date:
      Date of Birth Payment Day:
      1st through 10th Second Wednesday
      11th through 20th Third Wednesday
      21st through 31st Fourth Wednesday

      Go to Schedule of Social Security Payments for the current payment dates.

  8. Donna

    If I called a Greenville NC local office to schedule an appointment by phone……why would the return call from them show up as (SPAM)? Dallas T. ?? This was suppose to confirm or cancel my appointment, but I was nervous and hung up, because the caller ID said ‘SPAM” and did not have Greenville NC, but ‘Dallas T’ in my caller ID display. Are Greenville NC offices transferring their work load to a Dallas T office or is this a scam??

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Donna, thanks for using our blog. To be certain you are speaking to a Social Security representative, please 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.

  9. Ronald M.

    Is the TV ads on one’s SSA Medical deductions taken from your SS income, a SCAM? The TV ad says, “that they may be able to get you more of your SS Medical money taken out each month, Of the 100 plus dollars taken from the SS pay, the AD claims that most or part of it could be refunded and added to your SSA income. IF THIS IS A SCAM, THE GOV. SHOULD SHUT IT DOWN AND GET IT OFF TV ADS.

  10. Donna

    I’ve been getting phone calls from whole bunch of different telephone numbers threAtening if I don’t call back with my SS#, police to coming to arrest me that night. I don’t even answer my home phone anymore, it goes to comcast answering machine. I’m 67 years old and getting very stressed bout this. How do I stop the calls, they are from different phone numbers all time

    • Vonda V.

      Thanks for letting us know, Donna. 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.

Comments are closed.