Avoiding Social Security Scams during COVID-19


Last updated 5/9/2020 at 7:17pm

While some of you are home, practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing to avoid the coronavirus, remember that scammers are still busy trying to take advantage of people. Some scammers are pretending to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and trying to get your Social Security number or your money.

Here's what to know:

• Do not trust caller ID. Scam calls may show up on caller ID as the Social Security Administration and look like the agency’s real number, but it’s not the SSA calling.

• Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.

• Don’t verify your Social Security number or any other personal information to anyone who calls out of the blue. If you already did, visit http://www.IdentityTheft.gov/SSA to find out what steps you can take to protect your credit and your identity.

• SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.

• Talk about it. If you’re getting these calls, chances are your friends and family are too. Please talk with them about it.

• People who know about scams are much less likely to fall for them. So by discussing them you are helping protect people you care for and people in your community.

Find "Hang Up on Social Security Scam Calls" at http://www.YouTube.com for more information.

Want more information on the latest Coronavirus-related scams we’re seeing? Visit ftc.gov/coronavirus, and sign up for our consumer alerts.

Jim Kreidler is a consumer education specialist with the Federal Trade Commission.


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