Beware: Social Security Scams

Pamela Kweller RSSA Staff


A Social Security Number (SSN) is a 9-digit identification number. You need a SSN to get a job as well as to collect Social Security and to benefit from other government services. We are continually told to keep our Social Security cards in a safe place and to not share our number with others. Yet, many people are being scammed and are providing their personal information used in identity theft. Scammers want your personal information and your money. Know what to expect so you can prevent theft!

How do I know if I am being scammed?

  • If you receive a phone call and are told that your SSN has been suspended
  • If you are told there is a problem with your SSN or account
  • If you are threatened with arrest or legal action for not paying a fee, fine, or debt
  • If you are told to exchange payment for an increase in benefits
  • If you are e-mailed with attached documents containing personal information

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will never threaten you, suspend your Social Security Number, demand immediate payment, or require payment by cash, gift card, prepaid debit card, internet currency, or wire transfer. The SSA will not call you on the phone unless you have a pre-scheduled call or have ongoing business with the agency. Scammers will look and sound official, but they are not. It is important that you know what to look for and what to do in the situation.

What should I do if I am being scammed?

  • Do not provide personal information
  • Do not verify or confirm your SSN and/or other personal information
  • Do not provide payment information
  • Hang up the phone
  • Do not call the number back
  • You can report the call to 
  • Spread the word: share your experience with friends and family
  • Don’t be embarrassed to report it!

Additional resources:

Social Security customer service line: 1-800-772-1213
Submit a report:
Fraud prevention and reporting information:
Scam awareness information: