Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams
Be on the lookout for fake calls, texts, and emails
Scammers are pretending to be government employees. They may threaten you and may demand immediate payment to avoid arrest or other legal action. Do not be fooled!
Social Security may call you in some situations but will never:
- Threaten you.
- Suspend your Social Security number.
- Demand an immediate payment from you.
- Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, or wire transfer.
- Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or to wire or mail cash.
Social Security may email or text you about programs and services, but will never ask for a return call to an unknown number. Social Security only sends emails or text messages if you have opted in to receive them and only in limited situations, including the following:
- When you have subscribed with Social Security to receive updates and notifications by text or email.
- As part of Social Security’s enhanced security when accessing your personal my Social Security account.
If you receive a suspicious call, text, or email:
- Hang up
- DO not return unknown calls, texts, or emails.
- Do not give money or personal information.
- Report the scam to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
If you receive a call, text, or email that you believe to be suspicious, about a problem with your Social Security number or account, do not respond or engage with the caller or sender. Report Social Security phone, email, and text scams through our dedicated online form.
What to look for
- The caller or sender says there is a problem with your Social Security number or account.
- Any call, text, or email asking you to pay a fine or debt with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
- Scammers pretend they are from Social Security or another government agency. Caller ID, texts, or documents sent by email may look official but they are not.
- Callers threaten you with arrest or other legal action.
Protect yourself, friends, and family!
- If you receive a questionable call, hang up and report it at oig.ssa.gov.
- Do not return unknown calls, emails, or texts.
- Ask someone you trust for advice before making any large purchase or financial decision.
- Do not be embarrassed to report if you shared personal information or suffered a financial loss.
- Learn more at oig.ssa.gov/scam.
- Share this information with others.