Is that Phone Call From Us?

It’s the morning of a busy day at home and you get a call from an unknown number. You answer only to find yourself on the receiving end of a threatening message saying your Social Security benefits will stop immediately unless you provide your personal information. It happens every day to thousands of Americans.  And it’s not Social Security calling.

Scammers have many ways to lure their victims into providing information and then stealing their identities. Sometimes they call under a guise of helping you complete a disability application.

Protecting your information is an important part of Social Security’s mission to secure today and tomorrow. SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes.  In only a few special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen confirm personal information over the phone. If you do receive a call from one of our representatives, they will provide you with a telephone number and extension.

The Acting Inspector General for Social Security, Gail Stallworth Stone, urges everyone to stay vigilant of impersonation schemes and to not be afraid to hang up.

You must always remember that you’re in control. Also remember that Social Security will never do any of the following:

  • Call you to demand an immediate payment;
  • Demand that you pay a debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe;
  • Require a specific means of payment, such as requiring you to pay with a prepaid debit card;
  • Ask you for your personal information or credit or debit card numbers over the phone; or
  • Threaten you with arrest or deportation.

If you receive one of these scam calls or emails, do not provide them with any information. You should:

  • Hang up immediately;
  • For Social Security impersonations, contact Social Security’s Office of Inspector General at https://oig.ssa.gov/report.

If you receive a notice from Social Security, please use the telephone numbers provided in the notice sent to you. You can also call 1-800-772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov for how to contact Social Security. Remember that scammers try to stay a step ahead of the curve. You can do the same by protecting your information.

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64 thoughts on “Is that Phone Call From Us?

  1. I keep getting calls from people saint I been given a grant from the government and I don’t have to pay it back,an then they say I will need to give them 250$ to get it they sound like Indians decent always from the same area they called last week the area code is 202 but they change it real fast the number they call is a government number (254-498-4061)Ronnie Williams I susceptible the will call one day this week.

  2. NO BODY CALL ME BECAUSE I HAVE DEAL WITH SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AND IN MY CLAIM SSA DENIED ME EVEN I AM DIABETIC AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SSA DENIED I AM NOT SICK OR GET ANY SICKNESS I AM THINKING BEHIND WHAT IS IT LIKE HUMANS AND CITIZENS IN THIS COUNTRY….!

  3. My ex spouse falls for every scam that comes down the pike, and never fails to drag me into it. I’ll get a frantic call from her every couple of months
    about how how the IRS is sending the sheriff out for $10000 in “back taxes,” or “delinquent student loans” or whatever and of course, she just wants to “warn” me because I’m supposedly responsible & I’ll be hearing from them because she gave them my information. She actually ended up getting stuck paying on some loan neither of us owed because she simply will not believe me when I tell her she’s dealing w/a scam. Some “student debt relief” person left voicemails for her & because I have a degree, she immediately assumed it was a legit caller on “my” student loan – which had been paid off for decades. (I’ve still got all the documentation backed up in the cloud, from initial application, receipts, correspondence, to payoff.) But she refused to believe it, insisting it was MY bill & kept nagging me to make up all the “late” payments because they threatened to send her to collections. I’m not sure how, or if she’s even telling the truth (frankly, I suspect she may be developing more than a touch of dementia), but she claims she’s now having to make monthly payments on “my” loan & says she’s hiring a lawyer to make me pay. Arrrrrrgh!!!!!! I know I’m in the clear but I resent having to waste my time defending myself in court because my ex fell for her 10th scam this year. Computer viruses, links in emails, infected downloads, phone calls, mail order scams, get rich quick schemes, door to door Kirby salemen (she bought a $4000 vacuum sweeper from them!!!), they see her coming for miles. I only wish she’d leave me out of it. Hope she doesn’t screw up my Social Security if she gets one of these calls…..

  4. Thank you for the information. I am always getting calls from scammers saying I have some type of grant, or other stupid things, and I just hang up. They eventually get tired of calling.

  5. I’m not sure the message I received was necessary. When did you begin the policy of sending such messages? At what date? I have never before received one.
    A COLA of 2% is nothing to brag about, by the way.

  6. I hope many who receive this will take notice. I thank SSA for the update and will continue to remain vigilant 👍🏻

  7. I am replying in regard to the message I SENT directly above this one. The message I originally received was essentially a blurb in support of SSA. I am thankful to receive SS but believe me, every penny I received was earned over and over again. It would help if you can tell me the exact date on which you began this policy. . Was it in 2017? If so, I want the exact date.

  8. En que direccion de correo puedo yo verificar si me han enviado mi primer pago de pension.Ya van mas de 300 dias desde que notifique la perdida de la primera vez.
    Saludos
    Ana Maria Montero Leon
    Santiago de Chile

  9. Question: If I go to live in Mexico after retirement, Can I have my Social Security monthly check, deposited in a bank in Mexico ( For example Chihauhua city )
    I will appreciate your advise.
    Thanks
    Ricardo Rueda

  10. Hello!it’s Isaac , i would like to thank Social Security Administration of United Sate of America for all the information they have send to me.Have good day, bye bye!

  11. They are always changing there phone numbers we get this call at least once or twice a month saying hi my name is Joe I am calling to update you on your recent disability claim that you filed And when you don’t respond they ask can you hear me okay.
    Before it was my Home phone now they call on our cell phones. I don’t even respond I just hang up!

  12. PLEASE DELETE MY COMMENTS – THEY WERE NOT MEANT FOR GENERAL CONSUMPTION – ESPECIALLY MY PHONE # – THOUGHT I WAS CONTACTING YOUR OFFICE ONLY!!!

  13. i got a call from SSA caller ID showed a 401 area code. call back no answer. looked up all SSA # all are 877 or 800 but no 401 i think its a scam.

    • Hi Keith, SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy (TTY number at 1-800-325-0778). Thanks.

  14. 11-1-17
    After I filed s/s benefit application, I received a call from # 510-xxx-xxxx(found not working#), and asked
    call back to 510-xxx-xxxx. I called this #, and recording massage said, leave my name, , tel # and s/s #.
    Also, got email, from DoNotReply@ssa.gov, asked to call # 877-772-xxxx. Could you please, verify all these are legitimate or fraud?
    I am so worrying.
    Thank you.
    V. Kim

    • Thank you for contacting us, Vince. The telephone numbers that you provided, are (good) working numbers for our Workload Support Unit. Social Security employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. However, when a person has questions about any communication —email, letter, text or phone call— that claims to be from SSA, we ask that they call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213 to verify its legitimacy (TTY number at 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.
      Just a reminder – please be cautious about posting personal information on social media and communicating personal information via email.

  15. I was contacted on my cellphone today about my daughter’s social security. the number that they left to call back was: 1-855-829-8915. Is this legit?
    Mary Ann

    • Hi Mary, the telephone number you provided, appears to be legit. SSA employees occasionally contact citizens by telephone for customer-service purposes. An SSA employees may call you in limited situations, such as if you recently filed a claim or have other Social Security business that are pending. In only a few limited special situations, usually already known to the citizen, an SSA employee may request the citizen to confirm personal information over the phone. If a person has questions about any communication—email, letter, text or phone call—that claims to be from SSA, please contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, to verify its legitimacy (TTY number at 1-800-325-0778). Thanks!

  16. PCH I have had more then one time some one saying that they are ho there not. I click yes for friends and the we start texting and then they ask if I pay taxe? I say no I a special American!

  17. You know how wrong it is that when I call I get a recording of a Wal-Mart ad several times saying I can receive a $100 Wal-Mart card for doing whatever. Hmmm wonder where these fools are getting our numbers. And I am quite sure that whatever the idea is to get that $100 is just a scam to get people to waste their disability check. Shame on YOU!

  18. Thank you so much for having this site, so that people can make their questions to you. I have been on the phone on hold literally for hours and blogging is a technological way to communicate with you. I just hope I get an answer.
    My question is the following one:
    If an elderly person receiving Social Security benefits for a disability along with other state benefits, suddenly gets information that this person will receive a lump sum of a housing settlement. How will this settlement affect her social security benefits? Can some of those funds be used to pay off bank loans? Would a special needs trust fund allow for this person to access funds for things not covered by any of the benefits the person gets? Will the person need to disclose and lose benefits equating the amount of the settlement? Thanks for your response

    • Hi Rosario. We are sorry to hear that you are having difficulty reaching someone by phone. We are experiencing higher than normal call volume.
      For a person receiving regular Social Security retirement or disability (SSDI) benefits, this income does not affect his or her benefit. These benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits.
      For a person receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), this type of income could affect his or her benefit. This is because the amount of the SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income and the resources available to the individual receiving SSI benefits.
      Representatives at our toll free number (1-800-772-1213) are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call late during the day or late in the week. Or you can contact your local office directly.

    • Hi Dennis. A child’s benefits normally stop at age 18 unless he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or high school (benefits can continue until age 19) or is disabled.
      For a child with a disability to receive benefits on your record after age 18, the disabling impairment must have started before age 22. See our Disability Planner: Benefits For A Disabled Child web page for more information. Thanks!

  19. I received a letter saying I wanted to discontinue my social security payments. I never asked for my social security to be stopped. I am 91 years old and was in hospital and then a rehab and now back in Alf. I am so troubled by this. It says to write a letter if you want to cancel the cancellation. But how was someone able to stop my payments. By the way my daughter is typing this for me. Can she as power of attorney go down to social security to fix this

  20. My x husband never paid his court ordered child support or alimony Told me he would kill me if I tried to get it This was in the 1970’s Anything I can do He is getting a pension from Norway and SS We were married in 1968 divorced in 1976 I think

    • Hello Joan, according to our rules, at age 62, an individual may be eligible for Divorced Spouse Benefits if he or she was legally married to the worker for at least 10 years before the date the divorce became final. We hope this information helps.

    • Hi Aaron, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Thanks!

  21. Can you schedule a callback instead of holding on phone for an hour? Most large corp offer the callback option. The wait to contact SSA is ridiculous, please let me know you have a callback option vs. holding an hour or more…

    • Hi Marianne. We’re sorry that you had difficulty reaching someone by phone. We may have been experiencing higher than normal call volume. Generally, when calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      Remember, many services, including applying for retirement, disability and Medicare benefits, requesting a replacement Medicare card, or reporting a change of address are conveniently available anytime at our website. When you use your personal my Social Security account, you can click on “Ask a Question” or “Talk to an Expert” for a call back. We hope this helps!

    • Hello Lenore. You cannot report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online. Usually, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office. To verify this information was reported, you need to talk to one of our representatives. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
      Just a reminder – Please be cautious about posting personal information on social media and communicating personal information via email. Thanks!

  22. I got a call last week from 703-361-0290 saying I was set up with a face to face meeting at the Manassas, VA office on 1/10 to discuss representative payee. This was because I was just beginning to receive retirement payments and I was already a representative payee for my wife. The recording gave me a number to call, 855-210-0123. I eventually talked to a man from “that office” who said the appointment was a mistake. I told him since I’m my wife’s representative payee and I’ve been filling out her reports, that I don’t need a representative payee for myself.

    Today, I got two calls messages from Boston (617-227-1929) about the same thing. The lady on the recording never mentioned my name, nor my wife’s. The message said for me to contact 866-964-7317 x29286.

    Are any of the phone numbers I mentioned above legit? Why am I being called instead of getting letters? Why would the Boston office call me?

    Thanks.

  23. I just made a phone appointment with Social Security to apply for my benefits. Does this mean I am to call Social Security on the appointment date or they will call me? I neglected to ask and don’t want to wait for a call if I am the one that is supposed to make the call. I wasn’t provided with a number to call so I assumed SS was to call me.

  24. I was at my local Social Security office and started to record the agent’s answer to my inquiry and the agent stopped the meeting and had me removed from the office. What did I do wrong.

  25. HELP I can’t get through on the phone, can’t stand in line at the local SS office for 8 hours waiting for an opening, have been denied access to set up an account, what do I do, as it pertains to my monthly direct deposit? HELP

    • You can speak to a Social Security representative for help with a my Social Security account between the hours of 7 a.m. and 12 midnight (Eastern Time), Monday through Friday.
      Toll-free: 1-800-772-1213 After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” please say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account.
      Note: Although our regular telephone service representatives are not available after 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, our Help Desk representatives can assist you until 12:00 midnight Eastern Time.
      TTY (for deaf or hard of hearing) 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.: 1-800-325-0778
      * You can also use our automated telephone services to get recorded information and conduct some business 24 hours a day.
      We hope this helps!

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