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Who’s pretending to be the government now?

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You’ve gotten the calls: from Social Security. Or the IRS. Or Medicare. Or any number of other agencies. Except: as soon as the caller threatens you or demands that you pay them with a gift card or by wiring money, you know. It’s a scam. Even if caller ID tells you otherwise – that’s not the government calling.

The FTC’s latest Data Spotlight shows the surge in reports about government imposters. You know about the Social Security Administration (SSA) imposters who claim that your Social Security number has been linked to “criminal activity” and ask you to provide some information or money. (That’s a lie. The real SSA doesn’t work that way.) But those scammers are not alone: people are still telling the FTC that they’re getting calls from – and losing money to – scammers pretending to be the IRS, Medicare, a government grants group, or cops and the FBI.

Want to know more? Now there’s – dare we say – an awesome way for you to find out. And even create your own handout. You see the graphic here, but if you go to the dynamic, interactive version of the graphic, you can create a version that focuses on the time period or scam you’re most interested in.

Exploring the data can tell you, for example, that this year’s median losses to law enforcement imposters are the highest of all imposter scams (a whopping $3,000), and that 20% of the people who reported those scams told us they lost money. Those calls work because they’re scary. But now you can stay on top of the latest as data is updated every quarter. Or go back 5 years and see how things have changed.

And, of course, there are tips on how to spot government imposters scams. So if you want to share the handout you created with a few clicks, you’ll be able to tell people about not just the scope of the problem, but help them know what to do when they get the next call from the – ahem – government.


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


I constantly receive calls from someone saying they are from a government reward center. Offering me a free grant due to my excellent bill payment history. They even place noise in the background that should like a call center. I knew it was a scam thanks to your information.

Beware of driver support also I had them before at first they did update and chg $10.00 then a couple of weeks without telling you they were supposed to do updates but what you will find is deleted files and then reinstall the same then charging another $10..

Got a message on voice mail today from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Admin and said that my ss# had suspicious activity on it in Virginia and to call them back. they left a phone # but I will NOT be calling them back!

similar but different recording - asking me to call back 949-577-8943 or my ssn would be suspended.

"....(recording cut off)... Has been compromised and we found some suspicious activity on it. To get more infomration on tihs pelase contact us back on our emergency line 949-577-8943. I repeat it is 949-577-8943 thank you"

called back about 5 minutes later and I hear d the entire message but didn't write it down but it did say that they were with the Social Security Administration... blah, blah, blah... SCAM!!!

I got a call 202 670 0637 Supposed to be working with INTEL International Cyber Crime helping me to retrieve a few items from a previous scam. But they want me to send money so they can trace the leader in the scam and once the investigation is over they will send me the compensation I am due.

I received incomplete call from 718 571 9038 today saying if I want to keep my social security call us or call Social Security, but nothing else. in a woman's voice. I tried to look up the phone number on Google but got no info from it. I didn't want to call the number back for fear it's a scam and didn't have enough info to call Social Security to ask them why they tried to call. I hope these Jerks get caught and put out of business!

I love to play with these people. When they call me, and tell me that they are from the SSA, the IRS, Microsoft, whatever, I act so surprised and say, "You work for <insert agency or company>? So do I! What location do you work from?"
Then I start getting really chatty and asking them what department they work for, who their supervisor is ("I might know him/her!"), how long have they worked there, etc., etc.

The scammers hang up every time. LOL!

the phone number from my scammer is 03 90024640
claiming to be from Gov. re lowering electricity bill

Getting calls from 1-817-207-5367, indicating there is activity on my social therefore they will suspend my number. Asking for a call back. Be aware.

•••Some person contacted me thru FACEBOOK PRIVATE MESSENGER using my Cousins PROFILE NAME and PICTURE!!!
•••Trying to get me to sign up for a Federal Government Grant.
BUT....You have to...
That's when I KNEW for sure that it WASN'T my cousin!!!
The Federal Government Grant Bonus is under, someone named,
●"Charles Williams Sr"
●American Hope Resources Grant Program
●This is the actual link((Below)) that was sent to me, but I NEVER opened the link!!
((( charles williams federal government grant bonus)))

I got yet another (almost every day of late) fraudulent call from a computerized-sounding voice claiming that my SSN was involved in a legal action of some kind and that I must call 206-452-5948 to find out what to do. Why can't the real government protect us from these criminals?

This guy called me from this number 479-370-0051 saying he is from Social Security Administration and my SS needs to be suspended because it is used in some money laundering activity. This person connected me to another individual who is supposedly from US Marshall. He asked me to take all my money from my bank account because if my SS account is suspended I will no longer be able to withdraw the money. He even asked me to be on the speakerphone, go to the bank in real time and then let me know when I reach the bank. I got really suspicious when he asked me to withdraw the money at my bank and come out.

Just received a call claiming to be the Dept of Social Security, they wanted information and I told them they would never call me to get it so they hung up. Beware, they called from 646-593-8964.

I have rec'd 4 calls in the last hour from the same number(216-245-4785) claiming to be the social security administration. saying my ss# have been connected to criminal activity. how can these calls be stopped

I have rec'd 4 calls in the last hour from the same number(216-245-4785) claiming to be the social security administration. saying my ss# have been connected to criminal activity. how can these calls be stopped

We received 2 calls today that told us that one of us had our social security number suspended for some reason. The call came from Alpine, Texas. The phone number was 432-294-8307. It is a scam.

Just received a call from "Wireless Caller 484-821-6785" Let the answering machine pick up. They threatened to cancel my SS number and freeze my account. Wanted me to Press 1 to contact them.

I recently received two phone calls, one with a local area code of 561 and another with the following number on my caller-ID: (806) 205-5382 both claiming to be from the Social Security Administration and requesting I return the call because it was very important. When I returned the call they asked if I had already "heard from the police" which obviously was the dumbest thing they could have said and they requested my social security number.....I responded by telling them, "Well, if your social security, why don't you give me my social security number and I will verify?" Needless to say, they hung up.

Over the last month, I have received probably ten robo calls telling me that I have a problem with my Social Security number and it has been cancelled, and that in order to sort things out I must call them at a California number. Of course I never do. They never use my name or indicate in any way that they know who I am. Sounds like a phishing expedition. I have tried blocking the calls but they just use another number.

I get a call 2-3 times daily from (the government grants department) and they tell me that I have a grant for $7,000 waiting for me then they go on and ask me for information like social, phone, email. And I told them that the government doesn’t give out grants you have to ask for them. Anymore I just don’t answer and it doesn’t do any good to block the number they just keep calling. A couple times I got the same cal saying they were U.S. government and the caller I’d showed the call was coming from India.

I get a call 2-3 times daily from (the government grants department) and they tell me that I have a grant for $7,000 waiting for me then they go on and ask me for information like social, phone, email. And I told them that the government doesn’t give out grants you have to ask for them. Anymore I just don’t answer and it doesn’t do any good to block the number they just keep calling. A couple times I got the same cal saying they were U.S. government and the caller I’d showed the call was coming from India.


Just got call from IRS (ha). Left return number 989 546 0364.

I got a scammer phone call on my home phone. The caller ID # 443-633-9026 appeared on my phone. It was about criminal activity with social security payments and asked us to call the number right away. Please Please do not call back any number you see on your caller ID.

Just to make you aware of some other pitfalls by calling back. The number can be out of the country & there is no way to distinguish this. You will be hit with a hefty long distance fee . I just got another call a few mins. ago and answered just for the heck of it and when he asked me my name I said you called me so you already have my name. He became so angry that he began to shout obsenities & when this didn't upset me since I just laughed at him he became angrier, so just hang up. They cannot be insulted!

I received a call today from 206-440-5799 they said the were with SS and was getting a warrant for my arrest press 1 to speak to a police officer I hung up tried to call number back I was told the number could not be completed as dialed check the number

At one time I would get about 5 or 6 scam calls a day. I looked at the number if it was not a number in my phone, I did not answer it. If it is important they will leave a message.

Now I get 1 or 2 a week.

I have received several calls in the past week. The number they call on, and want you to call, is 833-214-9111. They claim that there is criminal activity associated with "your" ssn and if you don' call back that there will be a warrant for "your" arrest. They don't use a persons name, just pronouns like you and your. I actually just got another call from them as I was typing this.

The phone number above is calling constantly and saying they are from the US Social Security office. When you tell them that you looked up they number and you are a scammer they talk in a foreign language. BEWARE

I got 4 calls on 7/9/2019 from 866-887-8997 - spanning between 10am and 6pm. The last call, at 5:34, I actually answered, listened to the automated thing and then pressed 1 to get someone on the phone. The MINUTE he answered I advised that I knew he was a scammer, the number he's calling from is reported as a scam all over the internet and that majority of US Citizens KNOW they're a scam. He hung up. Well guess what. I got a new call today at 12:50pm from a NEW number with a SIMILARLY urgent automated message.. this time from 800-496-3994.
There has got to be something we can do as a nation to protect ourselves from this

I have received 3 phone calls today from scammers pretending to be the Federal Grants and Treasury Department. they are stating that since I have paid my taxes on time and do not have a criminal record I have been approved for a Free $9,000 grant that I do not have to pay back, which is BS. They are calling from a Washington D.C. area code (202) and the numbers are 867-0634, 433-1052 and 578-6590.

I've recieved two calls this week. One was an overseas number saying my ss # was suspended for more information press 1. And another from a Chicago number saying that legal action is going to be taken againt me by the social security administartion and I should call back immediatly. I just hung up both times.

3606875576 called me saying was the goverment was giving me $7000. Then i hung up

I fell for the scam hook, line and sinker. I'm ashamed of it and wasn't strong enough to say no and hang up the phone. It's mistake I'll live with forever. I'm doing my best to shake it off and I'm starting by putting this comment out there for people to read. By doing so, learn from me and my mistake. Don't be like me, learn and be informed.

FYI, many people have been getting 3-6 calls with the exact same recording claiming to be the “Department of Social Security” all from unknown numbers or hidden locations. However, I was able to locate one call, in mainland China. I never believe these calls anyway, but it is clear they are not even calling from within the US. Just a heads up in case anyone is wondering about the validity of these calls; do not fall for them.

I received a call claiming from Social Security, that my number has been suspended due to suspicious activity, and to press 1. Did not follow thru, the number used was 242889365. I let call go to voicemail. Was a male voice sounding very authoritative. Be on alert everyone.

Received a call from a number 242889365. I did not answer went to voicemail. Retrieved voice message, male person very rough sounding saying Social Security Administration has suspended my number due to suspicious activity press 1 for details. Did not follow instructions just want people to be aware. And notify Social Security.

I would sign up for opt-out but it calls for your SS#. Everywhere you go, you are warned about giving out your SS#. Why does this agency ask for it?

You do NOT need to give your Social Security number when you add your phone number to the Do Not Call Registry.

You need to give the phone number you want to register and an email address. You will get a message at the email address within 72 hours after you register. You have to click on a link in the email address to complete the registration. That's it.

i just got a call earlier from the supposedly SSA...then it prompted me to click 1 so i did and some foriegn guy answers and asked if he could help i told him idk can he after all they called me so he then proceedes to ask me if my name is so n so i laughed and said first name yes last name no..i said that was my married name and ive not used it going on 15 yrs soon as i said that click he hung up...the number they called from is 765-799-3172...the gvnt needs to do something about these scammers its getting old !!!

Today I received a call from 407-802-3061, horrible experience. They were friendly in the beginning and then very rude. They gave me their names and supposed Badges Numbers. They told me that they were calling from Social Security Office and sound very real and legit. Please stop this people. I felt they invade my privacy.

I recieved calls in the last few days from caller id numbers (Wits 2001,Homeland Security,Defence security,etc.) all with 202-760/764 numbers. The messages were all the same and sounded unofficial about your social security is in danger and to speak with an agent. Let them go to voicemail.

I've rec'd 3 calls within 30 minutes from 1-800-131-2897, 1-800-106-0257 and 1-800-164-3538. Same as other comments. Suspicious activity with your SSN. We have suspended. Press 1 for information about your case. I Blocked these calls, but they call back within a few minutes using a different number.

I've had 8 calls today so far from 1-800 numbers with this message from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Admin and said that "Your ss# had suspicious activity and has been suspended. Press 1 to get information about your case. Thank you."

I block the calls, then about 10 minutes later get another one from a different 1-800 leaving the same message when I don't answer. 1-800-144-3449, 1-800-118-3063, 1-800-162-9574, 1-800-178-8900, 1-800-131-2897, 1-800-106-0257, 1-800-164-3538

Growing up in as a child I remember the public service announcements on TV about 'signs of mental illness'; 'Smokey the Bear' ( to prevent forrest fires) and coming across explosive devices (from all the construction and building of the freeway systems). There are very few public announcements these days and instead just stupid commercials such as showing reckless driving ( to promote a cars performance), which encourage senseless driving and spending. Most people still watch the idiot box and those public service announcements warning people need to come back on.

There's a scam going on right now where people are calling you saying they're from the government and wanting to offer you a grant of $9,800 the phone number that they're giving is 36 0 844-2535 extension 1406 do not fall for the scam they want you to send them $200 to get the 9800

I just received a scam call and when I called 18002690271 it was no help. Report scam out to be on the first level, instead I had to go down several layers before I reached a " and all other problems" and then was told I had more than an hour wait.

It's almost like the administration is on the side of the scammers not the people.

I just received a call from (646) 257-7061. I did not answer, but the call said it was the social security office and they were suspending my number due to suspicious activity and if I didn't call them back, a warrant would be issued for my arrest.

I know your working hard on all of the calls placed by scammer. I have had at least 10 regarding SSN.
Now I need to find out if anybody has received an email from Apple stating you missed a payment and they are going to lock your phone. I've never missed a payment! I did open the email and clicked on the payment, but it came up Couldn't be found. So I went back to the original message and tried the web address..No response. That's when I figured out this was a scam. I have the email so if you would like I can forward to you.

I have getting these calls about social security number blocked and they go right to voicemail .. please don't believe that .it's a attempt to collect money and info .they need to put these. People in jail


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