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Social Security: What to do if someone calls you about your SSN or benefits

Americans collect Social Security benefits every month. Unfortunately with that comes new opportunities for fraudsters and scammers.

social security card from the SSA with cash representing benefits

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, there are some things to know.

First, the SSA will always mail you a letter if there’s an issue with your account or SSN.

If you’ve requested a call or have an ongoing issue, then you should already expect a call from the SSA and know it is not fraud.

You aren’t going to be called without knowing ahead of time.


Scammers and Social Security beneficiaries

Scammers target Social Security recipients because they appear to be easier targets.

Robot calls are increasing and many are pretending to be employees with the government saying you’ve been a victim of identity theft, an issue with your SSN, account, or benefits.


Things scammers might do that the SSA does not

  • threaten to arrest you
  • demand gift card payment, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, or mailed cash
  • say they’ll suspend your SSN
  • ask for personal details
  • ask for bank information
  • offer a COLA increase


There are ways to protect yourself from scammers pretending to be with Social Security

Hang up on a questionable call and contact the Office of the Inspector General.

Do not call numbers back that you do not recognize.

Talk to someone first that you trust before doing anything financially.

If you’ve fallen victim, do not be embarrassed and still share what happened to you to help others.

Talk to friends and family about this.


Learn more about full retirement ages changing here.

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