July 30, 2019

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY | Rock Island, Illinois Office

By Linda Clayton-Powell
Social Security Manager
Rock Island Social Security Office

COMMUNITIES FIGHTING FRAUD

Older people are at a greater risk of fraud and other forms of financial exploitation. The United States Postal Service has seen an increase in mail fraud and is promoting community strength and fraud awareness as a way to prevent abuse. Social Security agrees. You can help your more vulnerable loved ones fight fraud.

You or a loved one might receive an advertisement in the mail, but it could be from a private company or even a scammer. United States law prohibits people or non-government businesses from using words or emblems that mislead others. Their advertising can’t lead people to believe that they represent, are somehow affiliated with, or endorsed or approved by Social Security.

Scammers commonly target people who are looking for Social Security program and benefit information. If you receive misleading information about Social Security, send the complete advertisement, including the envelope it came in, to:

Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline
Social Security Administration
P.O. Box 17768
Baltimore, MD 21235

Community can simply mean your family unit. The more you know about what your loved ones are exposed to, the better you can protect them.

We also receive reports where someone pretending to be a Social Security employee has contacted members of the public. The intent of this type of call may be to steal your identity and/or money from your bank accounts. They may state that your Social Security number will be suspended or they may demand immediate payment. The caller generally asks you for personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth, your mother’s maiden name, or your bank or financial account information. You should not provide any of this information to these individuals.

It’s possible that a Social Security employee may contact you to follow-up on a previous application for Social Security benefits or to follow-up on other business you initiated with Social Security. Remember, Social Security employees will never threaten you or demand any kind of payment in exchange for services.

It’s important that you report any and all fraud. This can only strengthen our communities and your family. You can report Social Security fraud at oig.ssa.gov/report.

CHANGING YOUR DIRECT DEPOSIT INFO WITH SOCIAL SECURITY

With our busy lives, it’s easy to fall into that cycle of postponing some tasks because of other priorities. This may be true for you when it comes to changing your payment method for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, forgetting to change your payment method can lead to delayed payments.

The most convenient way to change your direct deposit information with Social Security is by creating a my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Once you create your account, you can update your bank information without leaving the comfort of your home. Another way to change your direct deposit is by calling Social Security at
1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to make the change over the phone. If you prefer to speak to someone in-person, you can visit your local Social Security office with the
necessary information.

Because we are committed to protecting your personal information, we need some form of identification to verify who you are. If you are online, we verified your identity when you initially created your my Social Security account. All you need to do is log in at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount with your secure username and password to gain access to your information.

If you call Social Security, we will ask identifying questions to ensure we are speaking to the right person. If you visit the office, you will need to bring a driver’s license or some form of ID with you. Once we have identified that you are the correct person and are authorized to make changes on the Social Security record, all we need is the routing number, account number, and type of account established. We don’t ask for a voided check, nor do we obtain verification from the bank. Therefore, you should be sure you are providing accurate information to us.

Because you may be unsure if your direct deposit change will affect your next payment, we highly recommend that you do not close the old bank account until you have seen your first Social Security deposit in the new bank account. That way, you can feel secure you will receive your benefits on time, regardless of when the change was reported to Social Security.

When you have to report changes to your direct deposit, be sure to visit us online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Social Security always strives to put you in control by providing the best experience and service no matter where, when, or how you decide to do business with us.

Question and Answer

Question: Can I get a new Social Security number if someone has stolen my identity?

Answer: We do not routinely assign a new number to someone whose identity has been stolen. Only as a last resort should you consider requesting a new Social Security number. Changing your number may adversely affect your ability to interact with Federal and State agencies, employers, and others. This is because your financial, medical, employment and other records will be under your former Social Security number. We cannot guarantee that a new number will solve your problem. To learn more about your Social Security card and number, read our online publication Your Social Security Number and Card at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10002.html.

Filed Under: Finance