Social Security Scams Have Caused Millions of Dollars in Losses

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  • The Social Security Administration is the No. 1 government agency targeted by imposters, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
  • If you get a call allegedly from the agency, it is probably a scam.
  • Before you give out any information or money, these are the steps you want to take.

For many people, it’s a call they’re not expecting.

An unknown caller tells you that your Social Security number has been suspended or canceled.

If it happens to you, it’s likely the latest iteration of a robocall scam the IRS warned individuals about earlier this year. Still other calls try to convince people to pay up with cash or gift cards in order to avoid getting arrested.

Chances are, you or someone you know has received one of these calls.

In the first six months of 2019, people filed 73,000 reports about Social Security fraud, according to the Federal Trade Commission, with losses totaling $17 million.


And because you’re caught unaware, you may be more susceptible than you think to becoming a victim.

Now, congressional lawmakers have started to move toward curbing these practices. The House of Representatives passed a bill on Dec. 4 to limit robocalls by requiring carriers to block the numbers without charging consumers extra money. The Senate passed similar legislation earlier this year.

And on Dec. 10, Reps. John Larson, D-Conn., and Tom Reed, R-N.Y., asked the Social Security Administration to review scam calls purporting to come from the agency.

“While SSA has taken steps in recent months to prevent and raise public awareness about these imposter calls, we are alarmed that the scams continue to be widespread and severe,” the congressmen wrote in a letter to Andrew Saul, commissioner of the Social Security Administration.


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