Scam Alert!

There are two Social Security scams you need to watch out for at the moment.

The first one is where you receive an official-looking email from the Social Security Administration with an invite to create an account so you can receive your benefits. You land on a webpage where the scammers hope you will fill out all your confidential information. Don't fall for it.

Never click on links in any of these emails. If you want to sign up for a My Social Security Account go directly to https://ssa.gov/myaccount/

Thomas Farrington of Maine Web Service, a provider of computer maintenance and security services advises, "It is a good practice to not follow links received in an email.  Instead, type the address in your browser to go directly to the site.  This is particularly important when going to a site where you enter any personal information."  

In the second scam, identity thieves obtain your personal information and use that information to open a ‘my Social Security’ account on SSA’s website. If successful, they then use that account to redirect your direct deposit benefits to an account controlled by the thief.

This should in no way discourage you from using SSA’s ‘my Social Security’ feature, which enables you to view your earnings history and estimated benefits.

in fact, establishing your account eliminates the risk of a new account being opened by an identity thief. This type of crime does, however, serve as a reminder to protect your personal information as you would any other thing of value. Once thieves have your personal information, they can use it to open credit accounts, buy homes, claim tax refunds, and commit other types of fraud.

Mr. Farrington's advice when creating your MySSA account, is to go into the settings and choose the option that any changes to the bank account into which your check is electronically deposited only be done physically at a Social Security branch office and not using your online account.

If you receive information from SSA indicating that you have opened a ‘my Social Security’ account, and you did not open an account, you should contact Social Security so that appropriate action may be taken, and the matter may be referred to the Office of the Inspector General. You can do so by visiting or calling a local SSA office or calling SSA’s toll free customer service at 1-800-772-1213. Deaf or hearing-impaired individuals can call Social Security’s TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.