What you need to know about this growing Social Security scam

Posted at 12:20 PM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 13:20:04-05

Officials are warning you to be on the lookout for people pretending to be from the Social Security Administration.

In just one year, the number of reports of this scam jumped from a little more than 3,000 in 2017, to more than 35,000 in 2018.

A person pretending to be with the administration calls victims and says their social security number is about to be suspended due to suspicious activity.

Bridget Cheatham was one of thousands of who received the scammed call.

“It was scary,” Cheatham said. “I thought, 'What if my dad or someone older would hear that message and think that they have to pay to get their social security unsuspended? Who would suspend your social security number? That doesn't make any sense.'”

They’ll say that your social security number is about to be suspended due to suspicious activity.
It’s a scam.

— Rae Daniel (@RAEtheReporter) January 4, 2019

Cheatham said she quickly identified it as a scam and called the number back.

“A gentleman answered the phone and said he was with the social security administration. I asked him if he really was and he said yes. And I asked a few more questions and he swore at me and hung up," Cheatham said.

If you get a call like this, know that:

  • Your Social Security number will never be suspended.
  • The Social Security Administration won’t call or email you threatening your benefits, or tell you to wire money or cash.
  • You can report it to your local Social Security office or the Better Business Bureau scam tracker .

If you receive a call like this, hang up.