According to the Social Security Administration in the last year, Social Security phone scams have skyrocketed, becoming the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and to Social Security.
Similar to other types of telephone scams, the scammers are trying to trick you into giving them your personal information and money. Don’t be fooled!
Scammers pretend they’re from Social Security. The number you see on caller ID may even look like an official government number but it is not. The caller may say there is a problem with your Social Security number or account. They may ask you to give them personal information like your Social Security Number or bank account. They may tell you to fix the problem or to avoid arrest you must pay a fine or fee using retail gift cards, pre-paid debit cards, wire transfers, or cash.
These calls are not from the Social Security Administration. The following tips will help you avoid falling victim to one of these scams by being able to better identify a fake call.
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 if you need to submit payments that will have detailed information about options to make payments and the ability to appeal the decision.
- Use emails, text messages, and social media to provide general information (not personal or financial information) on its programs and services if you have signed up to receive these messages.
If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be 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).
To help reduce these types of fraud, Commissioner Andrew Saul and Inspector General Gail S. Ennis have also announced the launch of a new online form to report Social Security phone scams.