February 6, 2020
Be on the lookout for fake Social Security calls. Have you ever received a threatening call from someone claiming to be someone you trust, like a government official? Have you been asked for your Social Security Number or other personal information?
These calls are not from Social Security! There are many telephone scams happening now, with the goal of tricking you into sharing your personal information and money. Don’t be fooled!
Sometimes, scammers pretend they’re from Social Security. The number you see on caller ID may even look like an official government number but it’s not. The caller may say there is a problem with your Social Security number or account or ask you to give them personal information like your Social Security Number or bank account. They may tell you that you must pay a fine using retail gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, wire transfers or cash to fix the problem or to avoid arrest.
These calls are not from the Social Security Administration. Use these tips to help you protect yourself.
Social Security will not:
- Threaten you.
- Tell you that your Social Security Number has been or might be suspended.
- Call you to demand an immediate payment.
- Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
- Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a pre-paid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash.
- Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.
- Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.
- Request personal or financial information through email, text messages, or social media.
Social Security will:
- Sometimes call you to confirm you filed for a claim or to discuss other ongoing business you have with them.
- Mail you a letter if there is a problem.
- Mail you a letter with detailed information about options to make payments and the ability to appeal the decision if you need to submit payments.
- Use emails, text messages, and social media to provide general information (not personal or financial information) on its programs and services if you’ve signed up to receive these messages.
If you receive a suspicious call from someone who says they are from Social Security, please:
- Hang up right away.
- Never give your personal information, money, or retail gift cards.
- Report the scam at oig.ssa.gov/ to Social Security’s law enforcement team at the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
- If you’re not sure if a call or piece of mail is from Social Security, call 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) to check.
You can learn more about how to spot scam calls from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Scams are constantly changing. You can protect yourself by knowing what to look out for. Please share this information with your family and friends.