Social Security officials hope to combat scam

Published: Mar. 22, 2019 at 1:20 PM MDT
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The Social Security scam is circulating once again, and officials want to stop it from claiming more victims.

Crooks may claim your Social Security number has been suspended, that they need your number and bank account information to issue a rebate, or tell you that all of your personal information was lost in a computer glitch. The caller ID may even read that the call is coming from the real Social Security customer service number. Don't fall for it.

"We urge you to always be cautious and to avoid providing sensitive information such as your Social Security number or bank account information to unknown people over the phone or Internet,” said Nancy A. Berryhill, acting commissioner of Social Security Administration (SSA).

The SSA, in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General, is launching a public service campaign warning of a nationwide telephone impersonation scheme. Scammers have become more sophisticated in recent years, with the ability to spoof numbers and make them appear to be coming from authentic sources.

"These calls appear to be happening across the country, so we appreciate SSA’s partnership in this national public outreach effort,” said Gail S. Ennis, the inspector general for the Social Security Administration. “Our message to the public is simply this: If you or someone you know receives a questionable call claiming to be from SSA or the OIG, just hang up.”

The SSA says that Social Security employees will very occasionally call people, but it's usually people who have ongoing business with the agency, and the call wouldn't seem out of the blue.

“If you receive a call and are not expecting one, you must be extra careful - you can always get the caller’s information, hang up, and contact the official phone number of the business or agency the caller claims to represent," Berryhill said. "Do not reveal personal data to a stranger who calls you.”

If you receive a call that you believe is fraudulent, call the OIG Fraud Hotline at 800-269-0271 or file a report online by

To hear what one of these calls might sound like,