When one relies on Social Security Disability benefits to pay bills and keep food on the table, it is important to make sure that those benefit checks arrive on time. With a proliferation in online identity theft during the last few years, it’s important to constantly check to make sure the Social Security Administration still has your correct data.
One woman, from a state adjacent to Georgia, is learning this first-hand. She only noticed that she had had her Social Security number stolen when she didn’t receive one of her monthly checks. Someone apparently used her number to change her bank account information so the check would not be deposited in her account.
The 48-year-old woman, who receives disability benefits for hearing loss, speech problems and depression, said she needs her monthly $609 check to make ends meet. Without it, she said she can’t pay her bills or rent.
She says she contacted her local Social Security office as soon as she realized the money wasn’t in her account. The office assumed that she had changed bank accounts herself. Police are investigation the apparent scam.
One law enforcement officer said that a Social Security number is one of the most valuable things that someone can steal, because it provides access to many areas of a person’s financial details. And with the Social Security Administration making it easy to change account deposit information, anyone who steals a Social Security number can do it.
Hopefully whoever perpetrated the scam will be caught and prosecuted. In the meantime, though, it is unknown if the woman will receive the money she’s entitled to.
Source: WZVN, “Woman scammed out of disability check,” April 5, 2012