Live 5 Scambusters: Social Security scam calls on the rise

VIDEO: Live 5 Scambusters: Social security scams on the rise

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Robocalls aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon and scam artists are still coming after your money and your identity.

The Federal Trade Commission received 3,200 reports of Social Security imposter scams in 2017. That number jumped to 35,000 in 2018 with $10 million in losses.

Kenneth Bell of Summerville relies on his social security check each month, so his ears perked up when he got a call from Washington, D.C.

“They’re telling me they’re from the Social Security Administration and that my account or my social security has been stopped,” Bell said.

Here’s an example of what the call may sound like:

VIDEO: Social Security scam call recording

The call isn’t real, but Bell understands how the calls can be alarming.

“I worked all my life for it and it seems like I should be able to enjoy it the way that I want and not have some scammer coming in and saying ‘Hey, I need your money,’” Bell said.

A scam artist may ask you to confirm your social security number to reactivate it. They may also tell you your social security check will be withheld. Scam artists will often try to capitalize on current headlines and fear. The scammer may also claimed your social security number has been used in illegal activity along the southern border in Texas.

  • The Social Security Administration will never call and threaten you or try to collect money over the phone.
  • Your Social Security number is not being suspended.
  • Never give out private information over the phone to someone who calls unsolicited.
  • Check the phone number calling you. The Social Security Administration’s phone number is 1-800-772-1213.
  • Scammers may spoof the number so always hang up and dial this phone number to speak to the real SSA.

If you have a scam story to share, email Kyle Jordan at

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