Does the Social Security office make phone calls? How do you know if the Social Security Administration is calling? If you have been a victim of these relentless calls from scammers and are wondering how you can identify fraudulent phone calls, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we are going to provide examples of Social Security scam calls popular in 2021, including examples of audio recordings of what these calls sound like.
That way, the next time you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will be equipped to spot the scam.
First, we will show you the 5 ways to recognize these scams.
Next, we will provide you examples of real recordings of the top Social Security scam calls so that you are aware of what these scammers are doing.
Lastly, we will provide you with three ways you can report these scam calls to the authorities.
This post will cover:
- Five ways to recognize a Social Security scam Calls
- Examples of Social Security Scam Calls
- How to Report Social Security Scam Calls
Five ways to recognize a Social Security scam Calls
Here are the red flags you should look for when you receive a call from someone you do not recognize who is requesting information regarding your Social Security number or Social Security benefits:
1. Threatening arrest or legal action
If you receive a threatening phone call claiming that there is an issue with your Social Security number or Social Security benefits, it’s a scam.
Note that the real Social Security Administration (SSA) will never threaten you with arrest or other legal action if you don’t immediately pay a fine or fee.
Furthermore, government agencies like the Social Security Administration (SSA) will not call, text, or email you out of the blue to demand payment right away.
2. Emails or texts with personally identifiable information
If you receive an email claiming to be from the SSA requesting your personal information, it’s a scam.
If there’s a legitimate problem with your Social Security number or record, the SSA will mail you a letter using the United States Postal Service to notify you of any issues.
Below are examples of what Social Security Administration official mail looks like.
The Social Security Administration will either send you mail from their National Headquarters in Baltimore, MD, a Regional Office, or from your local Social Security Office.
We have also included below what a sample Social Security letter looks like.
3. Misspellings and grammar mistakes
Scammers are getting smart and are sending follow-up emails and letters to appear to trick you into thinking you are actually dealing with the real Social Security Administration.
If the caller follows up with emails containing falsified letters or reports that appear to be from the SSA or SSA’s OIG, look closely.
The letters may use government “jargon” or letterhead that appears official in order to help convince victims.
However, typically these letters may also contain misspellings and grammar mistakes.
For what official mail or letters from the Social Security administration looks like, see the image above in #2.
4. Requests for payment by gift or pre-paid card, cash, or wire transfer
You may receive calls requesting that you send money through wire transfer, prepaid card, or a gift card to the Social Security Administration. This is a scam.
If you do need to submit payments to the SSA, the agency will mail a letter with payment instructions and options through U.S. mail.
You should never pay a government fee or fine using retail gift cards, cash, internet currency, wire transfers, or pre-paid debit cards.
Furthermore, legitimate government agencies like the IRS or SSA will never tell you to pay money owed immediately with gift cards, money transfers, pre-paid debit cards, etc.
However, scammers ask for payment this way because it’s difficult to trace and recover.
5. Offers to increase benefits in exchange for payment
Lastly, scammers may call you offering you Social Security services for a fee.
It is important to remember this:
The Social Security Administration employees will never promise to increase your Social Security benefits, or offer other assistance, in exchange for payment.
Examples of Social Security Scam Calls
There are many types of Social Security Scam calls targeting seniors. Here are the top ones according to the FTC:
Scam #1 – Fraudulent/Suspicious Activity Phone Calls
This type of Social Security phone scam tries to impersonate a Social Security official, claiming to alert you about fraudulent activity on your Social Security account.
You are then instructed to call a phone number for more information on how to fix the issue.
This particular type of Social Security scam call is popular for obvious reasons:
First, nearly all of your financial and medical records are connected to your Social Security number.
That is why data thieves are constantly trying to steal your Social Security number and use it in fraud schemes or for selling something illicitly.
Examples of this type of Call
Listen to this audio of an actual scam call about supposedly fraudulent activity on a Social Security account.
The caller’s warning is 100 percent fake.
The real Social Security Administration does not contact you by phone to tell you about issues with your Social Security account.
Scam #2 – Your Social Security Benefits will End Phone Calls
The second type of scam call will tell you that your Social Security number is suspended and that your Social Security benefits will be canceled until you resolve the issue.
Example of this type of Call
Listen to this audio of an actual scam call about a supposedly compromised Social Security number.
The caller’s warning is 100 percent fake.
The real Social Security Administration does not suspend Social Security numbers.
If you get a call like this, do not press 1. Instead, just hang up and remember:
- Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended.
- The real Social Security Administration will never call to threaten your benefits.
- The real SSA will never tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on a gift card.
Scam #3 – Threatening Phone Calls
The third type of Social Security scam call is where scammers call with threats.
Here’s how this one works:
The caller indicates that there is a warrant for your arrest and suggests ways you can resolve the warrant issue.
Another variation of this type of call goes like this:
“There are legal enforcement actions which have been filed on your social security number involving fraudulent activities,” the recorded message will say.
The message will ask you to call them back or they will begin “legal proceedings” against you. If you do call, they will attempt to get you to “verify” or “confirm” your social security number.
Don’t ever give your social security number to anyone by phone, not even the last four digits.
The calls often involve people or robotic voices pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
They will typically try to get your Social Security number or demand money.
Also, they sometimes use “spoofing” techniques to make the genuine Social Security hotline number (1-800-772-1213) appear on the recipient’s caller ID screen.
The caller may also identify themselves using the name of an actual SSA official.
Example of this type of Call
The video below from the Social Security Administration explains how this type of call works, with testimonies from actual victims of this type of fraudulent calls:
Scam #4 – Fraudulent Friendly Service Phone Calls
The fourth type of Social Security scam call is friendly fraudulent calls.
With this type of call, the scammers will call you and try to sell you services the SSA readily provides at no charge.
Here are some of the Social Security services that scammers will call you and offer to provide you for a fee:
- Help you get a new Social Security card
- To help enroll a new family member in a Social Security program
- Provide a record of your Social Security contributions to date.
How to Report Social Security Scam Calls
Protect yourself and others by reporting a Social Security Scam Call. Here are the various ways to do so:
Report to the Social Security Administration
First, you can report Social Security scam calls to the SSA Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
Reporting Social Security fraud to the OIG is easy, safe, and secure.
Report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Additionally, you can report Social Security fraud calls to the FTC.
The FTC is the primary government agency that collects scam complaints.
Report telephone scams online to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357.
You can also report online at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/.
Furthermore, you can report all robocalls and unwanted telemarketing calls to the Do Not Call Registry at https://www.donotcall.gov/.
Lastly, you can report caller ID spoofing to the Federal Communications Commission.
You can report either online or by phone at 1-888-225-5322.
Report to your State’s Consumer Protection Office
Lastly, you can also report fraudulent calls, including Social Security scam calls to your state’s consumer protection agency.
For the contact information for your state’s agency, click here.
Examples of Social Security Scam Calls Summary?
We hope this post on Examples of Social Security Scam Calls was helpful.
If you have further questions about Social Security Scams, Social Security, or Disability benefits, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles on:
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IRS Stimulus Check Phone Number – 2021
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Are Stimulus Checks Considered Taxable Income?
Guide to Social Security Scam Calls
Direct Express Stimulus Check Deposit Date
How to Login my Social Security Account
Direct Express Dispute Resolution Help
2022 Social Security Payment Dates