Along with many large companies, the Social Security Administration has been a favorite target of identity thieves. As the skills of cyber criminals strengthen, this issue will continue to exist as Baby Boomers age. Once they obtain a Social Security number and other personal information, they file for benefits in that person’s name. While the SSA doesn’t release information on incidents related to identity theft and benefits, a 2015 report from the Inspector General reflected that about $20 million in benefits were sent to the wrong bank accounts. Whether or not you are already receiving benefits, you can be a potential victim.
To protect yourself from the threat of identity theft and lost Social Security benefits as a retiree, preventative actions must be taken as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to set up a MySocialSecurity account at www.socialsecurity.gov. This account will help you estimate your benefits, review the accuracy of your earnings history and check any activity related to your Social Security number. You can alternatively call Social Security’s toll-free number to gather this information. For those already receiving benefits, consistent monitoring of bank deposits is necessary. If a deposit isn’t made on time, contact Social Security immediately.
Collaborate with your Enso | Sonoma financial advisor to create a plan that will protect you from lost investments or retirement benefits.