How it works

You receive a call from someone claiming to be a Social Security Administration (SSA) employee or law enforcement officer who tells you your Social Security account has been suspended because it’s been linked to criminal activity. The scammer says your bank account is about to be seized and threatens to arrest you if you don’t cooperate. You’re told that to keep your money safe from the real criminals involved, you must empty your bank accounts, put the money on gift cards and provide the caller with the gift card numbers.

What you should know

  • The SSA will never call to threaten your benefits, suspend your account or tell you to wire money, send cash or put money on gift cards.
  • The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers sometimes use spoofing technology that will display that number in the caller ID.  If you are not sure if the call is legitimate, hang up and dial 1-800-772-1213 to ensure you’re speaking with the real SSA.