Agency employees do occasionally contact people by telephone -- generally those who have ongoing business with the agency. SSA employees will never threaten, or promise a benefit approval or increase in exchange for information or money.
In those cases, the call is fraudulent and people should just hang up.
Generally, the agency mainly calls people who have recently applied for a Social Security benefit, someone who is already receiving payments and requires an update to their record or a person who has requested a phone call from the SSA.
If a person is not in one of these situations, they normally would not receive a call from the agency.
If there is a problem with a person’s Social Security number or record, in most cases the SSA will mail a letter. If a person needs to submit payments, the agency will send a letter with instructions and payment options.
People should never provide information or payment over the phone or Internet unless they are certain of who is receiving it.
Social Security will not:
- Tell you your Social Security number has been suspended
- Contact you to demand an immediate payment
- Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone
- Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash
- Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe
- Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money