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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

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


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.

Did you get all of your money back?

To : FTC Manager: from Ali Erdogan I informed and confirmed my ID and I m a customer my prizes safe and save under security Mega Millions ,powerball known my situtions term and conditions . if some one try to cheating FBI going to fınd easly.
only I have trouble biggest amount and I try to get visa for to go America USA Consulates didn't accept , I m really autorised I own lottery Money I sent my douments to CA State official Government Lottery Manager I don't Understand REGİSTERED LETTER must send reply . why they d 't want they try to finish date but I sent on time in dateline that means growing my prizes also lottery going to pay interest if I will find lawyer lotteries shuld pay also for lawyer thank you very much for your kindly services

what do you do when the real Social Security In Waukegan, Il is scamming you (bias activities against men of American Heritage)

Thanks for keeping the public updated on these lowlifes. I haven’t received a Social Security call yet but have gotten voice mail messages from the “IRS.”

Received aprox. same message. Hit retail. Female answered. Advised that they just called me. Asked for name and ssn. I advised she must already have that information, they just called me. She said they have to verify. Asked what office she was calling from. I told I recently retired from SSA and wondered if we might know some of the same people. She hung up on me. How rude.

The phone companies can stop these calls but they have no incentive to do so. They make money off the callers and off us when we sign up for their call blocking.

No, that's the thing. They really can't without also stopping a whole lot of legitimate calls.

The gov should change all ss # or change the system

The tone of the speaker sounds like someone using a speech assist tool like one a person with a stoma would use or someone trying to disguise their real voice. Kinda dead giveaway, this tool is a scamming ghoul, and is about as real as the voice in it.

There is multiple voices in the calls some are more robotic than others but its all the same scam

Got the same message when I answered the phone & pushed 1 was asked for a refrence# & name, they never gave me reference # but I gave my name--put me on speaker hold for like a minute then phone went dead. Tried to call # back & it was a nonworking #...Imagine that

You did not mention that SSA or IRS will never telephone you. They will always contact you by sending a letter, so always hang up on phone calls.

They did call my home and left a name and phone number with an extension. I returned the call and the recording asked for my name and SS#. When I call back to prove to my wife this is what it said on the recording the person answered. He started asking questions and when in became more personal and direct about income I became defensive. I did not give him any more info and called him a fraud trying to scam me. At that time he said he would have to reject my application for medicare. This person is a worker for the SSA. I checked his name & phone number through our local office. I don't know what to believe anymore. I am told I can't deal with anyone else because my account is assigned to him. I have called him three times and he has not returned my calls.

Thank you so much for telling me that. I get a lot of calls and have paid out hundreds of dollars before on those calls due to being told I would still be arrested because the fradulant activity was still in my name and that it carried a sentence of up to two years. I’ve never been to jail and thought simply horrifies me. Therefore I asked no one for help and paid out the money. My husband was so mad at me that I didn’t talk to him about it first. I simply panicked and just paid it. Never again will I make such a mistake. Thanks so much for sharing.

I received three calls in about 1.5 hours on 12/21/18, allegedly from "Ofcr. Gary Cole" of the SSA claiming there were issues with my SSN being used fraudulently. I guess since I did not call him back after the third call, they gave up. Phone number calling from was 218-366-3263.

If the scammers are providing a call-back number, why can't the FTC or FCC track them down through the phone companies? Or I suppose my question should be, why don't they?

Agreed! I bet those lazy scammers are reading this too so they can use other tactics!
I had My own number calling me, I freaked out, called provider (may be an inside job too).

The guy with the Middle East accent called me several times, I told him off with some words I cannot use here, but haven't heard from him since, evidently he realized I couldn't be scammed. Sad world we live in when people can just steal money from those who think these people are legit. A letter should be sent out to every person in the U.S. listing all the scams that are out there, especially to the elderly.

I Agree That Letters should be sent out a to everycall USA Citizens with a list of all the Scammers names, numbers and addresses they use to fool peoples money and information.

Scammers don't give their own names, numbers or addresses, and any such list would just let the smarter ones be clear they aren't one of those.

Smart avoidance of scams is knowing that anyone calling you to ask for your SS# doesn't know it to verify. Ask them for the last 4 digits. They won't know, or they'll make up excuses.

Smart avoidance is knowing the SSA has absolutely nothing to do with your bank accounts and credit cards.

In fact, banks won't CALL YOU and ask for information. Suspected fraud will know that info and be calling to determine if you made the charges - not asking you to confirm the card # or a full SS#. They'll know your full name as it is on the card. ASK, don't ANSWER, if they call you.

Thanks for informing us about the scams. I they don't leave a number I don't call back. If I don't recognize the number I don't answer. They get blocked. I don't know how many scammers have called me and they get blocked. I have more blocks than I docontacts. That is ashame

This happened to me; the took my information then said they would work on my behalf to get my SSD funds started. Once I gave them the information (yeah I know now , not smart) the told me I was immediately declined and refuses to speak with me. The number was wrong too. I don’t want them to receive my disability pay, what do I do now.

Is the Dept of Health and Human Services having an older appearing man using Facebook to tell people they can "receive a check for $125,000? A "friend" and I'm suspicious "she" is not what she appears to be, is attempting to get me to also get the $125,000. I find that to be rather odd! I cannot find anything online about it.

I am experiencing when I use my personal information I am told that nothing comes up and that's scary as well as weird. I cannot be verified by a replicable bank using my social security number given at birth, birth date. and name. So I have to make a report with the FTC identity fraud service and guess what? the government is shut down today, isn't that wonderful.

I received this call over the summer, and was told that my identity had been stolen, and someone in Texas was using my SSN to rent apartments and vehicles. The man on the phone was accusing me of being the identity thief and asked me to verify my current debts. He never asked me to verify my SSN, but simply to verify that I knew what was reporting on my credit. After a while I discovered the man was not from the social security administration when I asked him for a return phone call and a case number so that I could be in contact with my lawyer before I gave him any information. He refused to give me the information, and I hung up on him. These people are very convincing.. be careful.

Got two calls, one two weeks and one today. Said my Social Security was being suspendes due to money laundering and drug trafficing. First time I called the police and social security, there was no warrent for my arrest and no suspension on my Social Security. First time they called the caller ID was 1(469)200-4335. Today their caller ID was the actual Social Security phone number. I called the FBI, spoke to some lady who routed me over to Internet fraud. I guess you can't report phone scammers. Can't report to this FTC.GOV either because they have closed down due to cutbacks.

"...and get you arrested..." Hilarious!

that was two of calls

A big tip off is the use of odd language or phrases. In the recording included in this article, the words “get you arrested” are used. What official would use those words?

This message from a different scam was left on my voice mail (the first words were cut off), “affairs intending your serious attention your case number is C9621 ignoring this message will be an additional second attempt to avoid initial appearance before a magistrate judge _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ jury for a federal criminal offense my number is 206-620-2607 I repeat it's 206-620-2607 do not disregard this message and do return the call now if you don't return the call and I don't hear from your attorney either then the only thing I can do is wish you a good luck as the situation unfolds on you goodbye…” This one had me laughing because the language is so out of the norm.

The REAL tip off is just the basic premise of the call. I don't care if they word it properly or not, NO OFFICIAL AGENCY is going to call you and threaten arrest if you don't call them back. Ever.

I just received the same language left on my voice mail by a # 1-855-527-8817 telling me to call back this number 1-855-278-8817.

Last year I got two of those scam calls that if I dont call them back right away I will be arrested and put in jail. I gave the phone Numbers to my accountant. Also another call is about Microsoft a out my computer needs,to be repaired. It was from the same voice who left the IRS social security calls. I knew it a scam. Isnt there anything the FTC can do to catch these criminals and put them in jail where they belong.

Year ago my brother's girlfriend stole my Ipad with all my personal information, pictures, stayed in my pocketbooks, sneak in my accounts. Was in all my devices, I moved out, didn't look back.

Two Alerts: one: asking for your social Security number and two: you will be arrested if there is refusual of
After receiving one of these calls I called my son who was able to verify that it was a scammer number.

I got a call with caller ID saying it was ATT. They said they were offering a special promo. In order to receive the promo you had to pre pay 6 months in advance using amazon gift cards and your rate would be guaranteed to 2 years. If you called the number to confirm it will sound like ATT then the SAME guy answers the phone. The email address is ATTpromo @
I called att to tell them. They didn’t seem to care. It seemed very legit until they wanted prepayment using gift cards. Just be careful.

I just received on of those calls and I told them I didn't have any Assets so they just hung up. They already had my social security number but didn't have the right name on the social security card. The Officer Michael Black #SSA 7844 was the first person I talked to and he informed me that They were going to the FBI and to pursue me and charge me with money laundering and drug trafficking and theft by deception. Then he processed to transfer me to his superior Officer Amy Brown # SSA 6598. Then she proceeded to try and get what I did have in my name. She couldn't tell me what my current address was and they assumed I was in Tx when I'm not. They tried to get my assets that were in my name and even asked if I had a job and a driver license. When I told them I didn't have any assets and didn't even have a job or a Driver License, she acted like we got disconnected and then the line went dead. So I wouldn't give them any of my current info and they hung up on me. LOL

I got exact the same happened to me they have my SSN but wrong last name they said they found abandoned car in the border that has 4 lbs of cocaine and the car was rented under my ssn and asked me if I can verify my name and address I hang up and called police.and they said absolutely scums.

I just got one today. Said that I had to call a Texas number and that a Law suit is being filed against me for fraudulent activity in my Social Security account. Beware!!!!!

Thank You!

I received numerous calls and voicemails which was very irritating so I decided to play the game and I answered the call saying Social Security Office how may I assist you? They haven't called my number since :)

Yes, we received a call from this number 469-522-3378 this morning. It scared my wife, so I called the number. I could hear what sounded like an open room with multiple calls going on. When a female voice answered, with no identifying information, I just said I'd received a call and wished to see what the issue was. She asked me to verify name nd address as it was read to me. I said that it seemed to be correct. And then the call ended. I tried to call back, but all I got was a busy signal.

A call from 315-538-3096 which I answered after they had control of my computer. I ended up paying them $99.99. They called back today and phished for banking information. I am elderly and probably gave too much information. Now they are filling my screen with porn

I received that recording and was terrified I called the number back and it said the number was disconnected SSI would not be disconnected so I knew right there it was a scam.

I just received one of these calls. Something needs to be done about this. I can't believe with all of the technology out there, nothing can be done.

Today I received a phone call from someone stating his name as officer Ray Williams, I didn't answer the call but he left a message saying, "legal action against my social security number." the number on my caller ID is 800-674-3741, I never called back because I believe it's a scan.

What is being done by the FTC to catch & prosecute these perpetrators?

Got one today from live voices saying my social security is being suspended due to a criminal investigation for fraud in Texas..lucky for me bank was not open and was told to withdraw max then go to Safeway to get a federal wallet..and not to talk to anyone..then he said just Google gift cards..luckily a lady worker overheard my speaker and said no that's a scam and got my phone and told him it was being recorded and he hung up..but now the paperwork is to freeze credit is tremendous..called number back and it answered SOCIAL SECURITY HEADQUARTER

So I have received 4 phone calls today from the same number telling me my ss number has been Suspended due to illegal activity and then it tells me to press one to speak to a representative. It is an automated call that sounds very sketchy and breaks away every couple of seconds. I went to file a complaint on the link provided but thanks to the government shutdown the Web page is currently down.

I just recieved one of these "Calls" I just wish that this information was posted somewhere more "Public" so that I would have knwn ahead of time. The number dislayed on my screen was: 864-203-8606


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