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Except in rare circumstances, you ….

Except in rare circumstances, you will not get a call from Social Security unless you have already been in contact with the agency.

A call, text or email threatens consequences such as arrest, loss of benefits or suspension of your Social Security number if you do not make an immediate payment by gift card, prepaid debit card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency.

If you receive a message or phone call like any of the examples listed above, remain calm and follow these simple guidelines: DO:

• Hang up if someone calls you out of the blue and claims to be from SSA.

• Be skeptical if a caller claims to be from Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General. Scammers appropriate official-sounding and often actual government titles to make a ruse seem authentic.

• Set up a My Social Security account online and check it on a monthly basis for signs of anything unusual, even if you have not yet started collecting benefits.

• Install a robocall-blocking app on your smartphone, or sign up for a robocall-blocking service from your mobile network provider.


• Call a phone number left on your voice mail by a robocaller. If you want to contact SSA, call the customer service line at 1-800-772-1213.

• Assume a call is legitimate because it appears to come from 1-800772-1213. Scammers use “spoofing” technology to trick caller ID.

• Give your Social Security number or other personal information to someone who contacts you by email. SSA never requests information that way.

• Click links in purported SSA emails without checking them. Hover the arrow over the link to reveal the actual destination address. The main part of the address should end with “.gov/” — including the forward slash. If there’s anything between .gov and the slash, it’s fake.

More Resources:

Call Social Security’s customer service line at 1-800-772-1213 to confirm whether a communication purporting to be from SSA is real.

If you get an impostor call or email, report it to SSA using their detailed online form. You can also call Social Security’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

If your Social Security number has been stolen, file an identify theft report with the Federal Trade Commission, which can help you develop a recovery plan.

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