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Your Social Security number isn’t suspended. Ever.

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A caller says that he’s from the government and your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended. He sounds very professional. So you should do exactly what he says to fix things…right?

Wrong.

The FTC has gotten reports about scammers trying to trick people out of their personal information by telling them that they need to “reactivate” their supposedly “suspended” SSNs. The scammers say the SSN was suspended because of some connection to fraud or other criminal activity. They say to call a number to clear it up – where they’ll ask you for personal information.

Thing is, Social Security numbers do not get suspended. This is just a variation of a government imposter scam that’s after your SSN, bank account number, or other personal information. In this variation of the scheme, the caller pretends to be protecting you from a scam while he’s trying to lure you into one.

Here are a few tips to protect yourself:

  • Never give out or confirm personal information over the phone, via email or on a website until you’ve checked out whoever is asking you for it.
  • Do not trust a name, phone number, or email address just because it seems to be connected with the government. Con artists use official-sounding names and may fake caller ID or email address information to make you trust them. Besides, the government normally contacts people by postal mail.
  • Contact government agencies directly, using telephone numbers and website addresses you know to be legitimate.

If someone has tried to steal your personal information by pretending to be from the government, report it to the FTC.

 

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Comments

I have been received these types of calls for 2 months, always have them go to VMAIL. Vmail sounded very robotic. Then BLOCKed them, they called back with different number. SSN does not get suspended!!

Just got robo phone call that my. SSN# was being suspended from 866 4048067

I hung up immediately.

Just got phone call that my. SSN# was being suspended from 866 4041735. Unfortunately I said my name & address, not SSN. What I can do now?

I told the lady my Name too with some hesitation in my voice. Is there anything I should do?

Check with a credit bureau to see if there’s anything on your accounts. You can also get a report from them if your SS# is on the dark web. You can put a lock on your accounts so no one can open a CC in your name. Good luck.

Just got a call from 929-479-3232 (NY) as well saying my number has been suspended due to fraudulent activity in TX. He asked if I have been contacted by the authorities. I said "yes, just this morning". He said, "oh really, what did they say?" I said, "...to be aware of phone scams like yours!" He hung up. The sad part is many folks fall for it, especially elderly. It makes me so angry. I report every such call...every little bit helps I hope.

I've gotten 4 calls in the last 5 hours, from 4 different numbers. All robo-calls, asking me to press 1 to connect. I have blocked the number each time, and within an hour I get another call from another number. So frustrating! I have a kid in Army basic training, and we're told to answer all calls, from all numbers, just in cast it's them calling. So I have to answer.....

I had same thing happen. I still reported it to those departments. But I got no response

Hi Carolyn, identity theft or any attempt at identity theft including social security scammers should be reported to the FTC.
Hope this helps :)

To make sure you at least have that and aren't expecting them to give you that 411.

I got that call but the phone number and website they left was the actual ssa numbers and website?
Still a scam?
Thanks

Sometimes scammers make proxy sites that look legit. They replicate the sites they are trying to impersonate. Be sure that the site you are visiting is secured before entering any information. There would be a lock icon to the far right of your browser.

Did they leave the phone number to SSA, or is this the number that appeared on your caller ID? Many times, scammers call from spoof numbers.

When you get a live person on one of these scam calls, say nothing, just blow a whistle loudly into the phone receiver. It’s hilarious!!!

Got 3 of the same calls from:

866-404-2213
866-404-2115
866-404-2036

"Phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspend your social security number because we found some suspicious activity. So if you want to know about this case, just press one. Thank you. This call is from the Department of Social Security Administration. The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspend your social security number because we found some suspicious activity. So if you want to know about this case, just press one. Thank you."

Beware of this number ‭(800) 564-1213‬. Scamers

They don’t .

great info, thanks, I can't stop many Fake e-mails even if i " Block" them. What a lousy future we have to live in. Thanks again. M5

Thank you. Wish I could post this.

You're free to share the information in this blog post. There are quicklinks at the top of the post so you can add it to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Or, you can copy the text and put it in your own message.

Thank you so much for this information. I would have no idea without your help about such fraud.

When you get these calls, have them tell you what they know, but don't conform or deny anything for them. After you get what you want or just get tired of talking to them, just hang up the phone in the middle of their sentence.

IF you answer your phone ( and if you don’t recognize the number, I wouldn’t), whoever they ask for, even if it’s you, tell them to hold on, I’ll go get them, put the phone down without hanging up, and continue doing whatever you were doing.

After the 'Equifax' hack we just started 'not answering' the phone if the number wasn't already in our 'contacts'. If we accidentally answered the phone, and it was a 'scammer' or such, just added to the contacts as 'scam', that way we wouldn't answer their calls again.

Although it might slow them down a little and it sounds funny, this approach may cause even more scams to come your way. If you verify (in a way) that the person intended does belong to your number you may be added to more spam lists.

if you know it is a scammer then give them a wrong name, wrong social security, wrong information. It 's like a dose of their own medicine.

BUT that phone or Social Security number belongs to someone. I do t want to create problems for someone else either. We have caller ID and can hear who is calling and we just don’t pick up and delete the recording with the number we are supposed to call back.

I lead them on, make them repeat the information they are telling me three or four times because "I can't hear them", then I tell them my social is 123456789 and to top it off I say the numbers really slowly.

This is actually illegal. What if you inadvertently gave out my number causing identity theft of MY information? Then I might be coming after YOU for illegally providing someone else's number. Very poor advice, do not follow it.
Do what I do: any call # that I dont recognize, dont answer it. Period. If its legit, they'll leave a message. Any call I get that I dont recognize and doesnt leave a message gets blocked.

What are the odds that i could make up a fake SS number and guess the right name to go along with it? Slim and None.

I got a call from the actual SSD phone number. I checked it on my cell while it was ringing. Probably a phishing call cloning the real phone number and they said my SSN was suspended. I pressed #1 to speak to someone and the system hung up on me.

Same thing just happened to me. I checked number on my phone and it was actual SS number. Thing is, they called me on my backup prepaid phone which is not registered under my name, that made me suspicious. Glad I hanged up, now I know SS number just can't be suspended

The same thing just happened to me, I was freaking out. They called yesterday, Friday and this am, but the answering machine says to call back on regular hours Monday-Friday. Do we need to call the SS office? I guess I'm still doubtful..

Can these scammers be prosecuted legally? If so, what steps are being taken to do so?

Thank you for the heads up. I'm sure they'll be calling me soon they always do.

Just got that call yesterday. I thought as much. Hung up. Never thought about it again.

Computers are humans enemy in this day and age. Anyone can get your information from the internet. If the world would go back to pen and paper, we would not have all of these electronic scams and identity thefts like we do. It was harder to steal a person's identity when the government used pen and paper. Easier is not always better.

My respects and consideration Would you be so kind as to inform me what I should do to verify my Social Security number You would be so kind to communicate. I am at your disposal thank you very much

The Social Security Administration has information online at faq.ssa.gov (English) and ssa.gov/es (Spanish).

I find it so hard that so many people are taken in by these scams. They must, or the scammers won't stay in business.

I would seriously like to know why the FTC/DNC is not forcing the sources of the calls to be investigated thoroughly? The FTC has the authority to force internet and phone companies to setup programs that check, verify and eliminate illegal calls, but yet the FTC doesn't force them to do this. Make the internet providers and phone companies start to verify every call, it doesn't mean they monitor the call, just verify that it is legitimate by using the IP address of internet or the phone verification process, and this will start eliminating robo-callers because their machine ID will be the soul way of stopping the robo-dialers. Each machine has its own IP/MAC address and it would not be hard to stop any computer generated call fro going anywhere past to internet Controller or the telephone detector . Of course it would take the FTC and other federal agencies to force the makers of those robo machines to set a code that all internet and telephone companies can block. First line of defense is to stop it from the source, then second line of defense is the internet providers and the telephone companies, and third line of defense is for the Federal agencies to impose massive fines (not a few thousand, but a few hundred million dollars for any offense that is caught, trust me if they get caught several times and end up going to jail for 10 + years for each offense it will start eliminating a lot of illegal actions. BUT... The FTC and FEDERAL Agencies need to start by sending out notices and investigating every complaint call, not just one out of every ten thousand complaints, finding the culprits and not only fining the crap out of them but also sending them to jail for illegal actions.

Agreed 100%! These can all be tracked down, and when the culprit(s) is found and convicted, their name and pic should be posted to all social media. And that should stick to their name indefinitely. Like a sex offender registry.

Amen CAS, this could easily be stopped. Why isn't it being done? Why do the perps repay a fractions of the stolen money? Oh, they took in millions but it went up in smoke and now they can only repay 13.79. However if they ever take the money out of hiding we might take it from them.

I do not bank online. I do not answer any call whose number i do not know. I was fooled once by someone that I thought was from Apple to fix my computer and I let him on to my computer.From there he got on to my bank account. I had to change all my account numbers and hope that I cured that problem.Never again will I let anyone onto my computer. If I have a problem, I will take my computer to an apple store.

I got this call today and knew it was a scam but what is unsettling is the actual 1-800 number on caller Id matches the actual 1800 number of the social security administration. I am sure there is some spoofing they are doing but it is unsettling.

I had a very pleasant conversation with a young lady at the FTC this morning concerning this scam. I was asking her if there was something to augment the do not call list for robo calls - she suggested “nomorobo” app. So I now have that on my cell phone!! Thanks for the great suggestions!

Thanks for this blog...Over the last month I have received two voice messages on my mobile phone and I did answer a third call. The voice messages say "this is the Social Security Office calling to alert you that your social security will be discontinued, due to the SS number being used for illegal activity." The message goes on to say that if you "want to prevent this from happening you need to call immediately." Then what is weird; is the message goes on to say, "If you choose not to return our call then all I can do is wish you good luck!" What Social Security employee would say that to some one? I have not returned the call. The call I answered was different in the description of the situation. It was a call from a woman stating to be an officer for the Social Security Administration. I did not think to write her name down as I was surprised by the call and I could barely understand what she was saying. She said her name was "Officer Patricia or Paula.... something" and that she had been "reviewing a list of social security numbers that were slated to be cancelled" At this point, I asked her to repeat herself, because I could not really understand what she was saying. She, then got very angry and in exasperation, said "I SAID THAT... I was reviewing a list of social security numbers that were slated to be cancelled." I replied, "That is ridiculous!" -Not that I have ever expected to get any SS benefits in the first place, by the time I am eligible, despite paying into it....- I asked her, "Why are you being short with me?" I then repeated back to her, "So, you are calling me to tell me that my Social Security benefits are going to be cancelled?" I asked for her to repeat her name and to speak to her supervisor, at which point she hung up on me. I tried calling the SS Administration to report these potential scams, and after being reminded at length of the details of the limited paperwork laws, my call was placed in queue; at which time, the outgoing message said that "calls were answered in the order they were received" and that I would have a "couple hour hold time." After holding for sometime, I called the my local County Police to report this a fraud, in an effort to be on record. I asked if they could trace the call from the caller ID, and they said that typically the scammers use a burner phone, which is not traceable. They said that they really did not file reports like this, and the officer recommended that I call the GSA fraud dept. to file a complaint. I did this, but the number routed me back to the SS queue line for the over an hour hold time again. I received another phone call / voice mail a couple days later. Per the caller ID, The first was from Capitol Heights, Maryland and the second was from New Hampshire. It's weird that I have received three of these in one month. Grateful, I thought about them being scams, but I do wonder about those elder folks who rely on SS, how they might respond to a call like this hearing that their SS benefits will be discontinued...

Received a recorded message today stating the same thing. Call back number was 215 709-1127

Received a recorded message today stating the same thing. Call back number was 240-489-5140

They keep calling me . today they called 10 times is there anything I can do to stop getting calls ?

I received a similar message today from (713) 331-5536.

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