Social Security has received numerous reports of questionable phone calls displaying their 1-800 number on a caller-ID screen. This may be a scam!
If a person claiming to be from Social Security calls you and threatens you for information or promises a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information:
- Hang up. Don’t engage and don’t provide any personal information.
- Report the call to SSA’s Office of the Inspector General at
1-800-269-0271 or on the Social Security website
What to Watch for
The reports indicate the calls display the 1-800-772-1213, Social Security’s national customer service number, as the incoming number on caller ID. People who have accepted the calls said the caller identifies as a Social Security employee.
In some cases, the caller states that Social Security does not have all of the person’s personal information, such as their Social Security number, on file. Other callers claim SSA needs additional information so the agency can increase the person’s benefit payment, or that SSA will terminate the person’s benefits if they do not confirm their information.
SSA Employees Never Threaten or Promise Benefits in Exchange for Information
Social Security employees do contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes, and in some situations, the employee may request the citizen confirm personal information over the phone. However, Social Security employees will never threaten you for information or promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information. In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up.
Social Security’s Acting Inspector General’s Warning
Gale Stallworth Stone, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, warns that the caller-ID “spoofing” scheme misuses SSAs national customer service phone number. It appears to be a widespread issue, as reports have come from citizens across the country. She says:
“This caller-ID spoofing scheme exploits SSA’s trusted reputation, and it shows that scammers will try anything to mislead and harm innocent people. I encourage everyone to remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence. We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens, so that they can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.”
She urges citizens to be extremely cautious, and to avoid providing information such as your Social Security number or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.