BBB Warning: Scammers impersonating Social Security Administration

Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Minnesota and North Dakota is warning people to be on alert for suspicious calls from scammers claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. BBB has experienced a recent uptick in reports of these types of scam calls, which can catch people off guard and be quite deceiving.

How the scam works

You answer the phone, and it’s someone alleging to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or another government entity. The name on your caller ID may even back up that claim. The caller may say there’s an issue processing your social security payment, or perhaps your social security number has been used to fraudulently apply for a credit card or commit another crime. In order to fix the situation, the caller says they need you to confirm your SSN and other personal information. If you don’t cooperate, the caller threatens to take you to court or have your Social Security number blocked or revoked.

No matter the details, the stories are designed to induce fear. Scammers hope that under pressure you will tell them your SSN and other sensitive personal information.

How to avoid the scam

•     Remember, the SSA will never call you asking for your Social Security number. They will never ask you to pay anything, nor will they threaten your benefits. The SSA will only contact you if you have explicitly requested a call.

•     Never give personal information to unsolicited callers. If someone contacts you without your permission, refuse to tell them any personal information.

•     Don’t always trust your caller ID. The internet has made it possible for scammers to use fake IDs when they call your home. If you receive a suspicious call, don’t make any important decisions based on what your caller ID says.

•     Contact the Social Security Administration: If you are concerned about a call you received from someone who claims to be with the SSA, you can call the real SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

For more information

If you’ve been targeted by this scam, help others avoid the same problem by reporting your experience at and