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This is what a Social Security scam sounds like

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Earlier this month, we told you about a growing scam: people pretend to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, we heard from 3,200 people about SSA imposter scams, and those people reported losing nearly $210,000. So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us they’ve lost $10 million.

Here’s what one of those scam calls sound like:

Scammers are saying your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he’ll say your bank account is about to be seized – but he’ll tell you what to do to keep it safe. (Often, that involves putting your money on gift cards and giving him the codes – which, of course, means that your money is gone.)

Oh, and your caller ID often shows the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) when these scammers call – but they’re faking that number. It’s not the real SSA calling.

Here's what to know:

  • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
  • SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.
  • The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If you’re worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.
  • Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account or credit card number.

If you get one of these calls, tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Tagged with: imposter, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Outstanding - please continue to add more of these ! Keep up the good work FTC !

A few weeks ago. I let it go to voicemail and then i called the # . It wasnt the SSA #. The guy that answered had a middle eastern accent. Then i hung up.

Those scammers sure are clever and devious. Yes. There are apps that can send a fake caller ID. This year, I got the IRS scam a few times. Maybe next year, I'll hear from those social security scammers.

How's can the government allow the scammers to use an official government number in our caller-id to fool us?

Thank you once again and again and again for warning the consumer about these scams. Most folks, when they get a "call" from social security or the IRS, they panic. In their mind they say "oh no! What can I do to correct this event.". You got to keep eight or nine steps ahead of these scammers. No, you can't keep one step ahead or you will be behind! You must keep calm and collected or the scammers will collect from you! Thanks for another scam warning.

Thank you for your constant informing us of these leeches who do nothing but prey on the vulnerable. I always pass on these alerts to my friends.

Listening to the recording, it's a big joke that they would be telling you that your info has been compromised so-to-speak and then come off with a threat of having you arrested (I had to LOL)

Thank you.

WOW … Thanks for including that recording. It sounds so intimidating, I would have gotten nerves and probably have thought I should call? I was able to recognize the difference, once I heard it.

I got this back in November: You are receiving this prerecorded message to notify you that your social will be suspended due to illegal activity. It's very important that I hear back from you in a timely manner before we can proceed further with the status of your social and assets. My direct call back number is 213-618-3453.
So just for laughs I called the number back using a totally different phone and I get we're sorry your call did not go through..
If these people would put the effort in working at a real job imagine how nice the world would be instead of preying on other peoples fears.

Thank you, I did receive one automated call from one of the low life an blocked he number.

It is really frustrating how they spool numbers. It makes it hard to report to the FTC as they want the real numbers the call came from. I have tried to report scams in the past, but cannot without the actual phone number.

When you report a call at www.FTC.gov/Complaint, you can report the spoofed number that a scammer used. That information is helpful too.

I wonder why there are not controls put in place to divert or prevent fictitious calls like this.

Thank you for this very important information. They are getting so creative now as I was just scammed and will be filing a complaint with your office tomorrow. People think that it can not happen to them but I read everything you send and it happened to me but I caught it in time to cancel my credit cards.

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