What should you do if you get a call claiming there’s a problem with your Social Security number or account?

If there is a problem, SSA will mail you a letter with your Social Security number. Generally, SSA will only contact you if you have requested a call or have ongoing business with them. Recently, scams—misleading victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for Social Security number problems—have skyrocketed.

Social Security employees will never threaten you for information or promise a benefit in exchange for personal information or money. Social Security employees also will not:

  • Tell people that their Social Security number has been suspended.
  • Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information.
  • Contact people to demand an immediate payment.
  • Ask people for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card or gift card.
  • Demand that people pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.

Be cautious about providing personal information to someone who calls you and asks for:

  • Cash;
  • Retail gift cards;
  • Prepaid debit cards; or
  • Wire transfers.

Never provide payment to callers over the phone.

  • If you receive a suspicious call or are unsure of the identity of someone alleging to be from Social Security: Hang up;
  • Do not provide personal information, money, or retail gift cards; and
  • Report details of the call to the Office of the Inspector General.

 

Adapted from SSA.gov

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