How to Know If a Social Security Phone Call Is a Scam

How to Know If a Social Security Phone Call Is a Scam

These days, you have to think twice about every text, email, and phone call. Is it legitimate, or is it a scammer trying to trick you?

Phone calls from governmental entities like Social Security can be extra challenging. Is your Social Security number really going to be suspended? Are you actually in danger of legal action?

Here’s how to know if a phone call, supposedly from Social Security, is a scam.

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Does the Social Security office make phone calls?

The Social Security office will rarely make phone calls to anyone unless they’ve requested it or have ongoing business with them.

If there’s a real problem with your Social Security number or account, you’ll get a letter in the mail.

So, if you get a call from the Social Security office? It should be an immediate red flag, and you should look for other warning signs of a scam.

Does the Social Security office call you for suspicious activity?

Social Security will most likely NOT call you for suspicious activity. When there’s a problem, they will mail you a letter.

Keep in mind that if Social Security calls you, they will NEVER:

  • Threaten you
  • Suspend your SSN
  • Demand any kind of payment from you
  • Require payment by cash, gift card, internet currency, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer
  • Ask for personal details or banking information to give you a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
  • Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash

If you get a phone call where the caller says there’s a problem with your SSN or account and you have not yet gotten a letter in the mail about it, it’s safe to hang up and report the call to the Office of the Inspector General.

How does Social Security contact?

Social Security’s primary method of contact is through the mail.

However, they may email or text you about programs and services if you have opted in to receive them.

What number does Social Security call from?

Social Security’s phone number is 1-800-772-1213. However, it’s easy for scammers to show any number on a Caller ID screen. Just because the phone number matches Social Security’s real phone number doesn’t mean it’s actually Social Security calling you.

You can never trust the Caller ID.

Remember: Social Security will not call and ask for your Social Security number—ever. They won’t ask for payments and they will never threaten your benefits.

How do I know if Social Security is calling me?

It’s always best to be cautious. If you haven’t gotten mail from Social Security and you get a phone call you aren’t expecting, it’s likely best to hang up.

After you hang up, call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to verify if the call you just received was real or a scam. If it’s a scam, report it to the Office of the Inspector General.

Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams

Reference this SSA flyer for important points on avoiding SSA scams:


If you get a threatening phone call from the Social Security office, it’s a scam! Always be cautious and do not give out your Social Security number over the phone.

Stay safe!

Additional government resources:

The Medicare Checklist for Ages 66+

Most Medicare info on the web is for those who are new to Medicare. But what about those of us who are seasoned consumers? There’s a few things to know, and this short guide will walk you through them.

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The Medicare Checklist for Ages 66+

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