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Frequently Asked Questions

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Social Security employees do contact the public by telephone for business purposes. If there is a problem with your Social Security number or record, we will typically mail you a letter. Generally, we will call you if you:

  • Have recently applied for a Social Security benefit.
  • Are currently receiving payments and need to update your record.
  • Have specifically requested a phone call from us.

But we will never:

  • Threaten you with arrest of legal action.
  • Suspend your Social Security number (SSN).
  • Demand immediate payment from you.
  • Require payment by cash, gift card, pre-paid debit card, internet currency, or wire transfer.
  • Ask for gift card numbers over the phone or that you wire or mail cash.
  • Ask for personal details or banking information to give you a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

Fraudsters pretend to be government employees and claim your identity has been stolen or that there is another problem with your SSN, record, or benefits. These criminals continue to evolve and find new ways to steal your money and personal information.

To learn more about Social Security related scams go to the Protect Yourself from Social Security Scams and Scam Alert | Office of the Inspector General pages.

If you receive a questionable call, hang up, and report the call to our Office of the Inspector General.

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