Never has your personal information seemed so much at risk of being breached or compromised by scammers. As attorneys, we see more and more cases of Social Security accounts being misused by thieves. The IRS scam involves a supposed “IRS officer” calling to ask you about personal details. The common Social Security Administration (SSA) fraud has scammers impersonating officers of the SSA in an attempt to get you to disclose valuable personal information.
Then, there are data breaches like the Equifax, that involved more than 100 million accounts. This data breach included the leaking of Social Security information involving millions of people, information that could easily be used by a scammer to compromise accounts.
2018 was a terrible year for consumer privacy. According to the Identity Fraud Report by the Javelin Strategy and Research Firm, the percentage of Americans who suffered data breaches went from 12% in 2017 to a staggering 30% in 2018. Also for the first time last year, Social Security information was compromised more than credit card information.
All a scammer needs is basic info like your full name, date of birth, address and Social Security number to open a mySocial Security account in his name. He can then reroute your deposit details to his account. The scammer can easily claim your benefits using these tactics. To protect yourself against such fraud, sign up for a mySocial Security account. Once you have done that, do not simply neglect it. Log in to your account regularly and check to see if any of your information has been modified. If you find it hard to log in to your account as a result of a password breach, immediately contact the Social Security Administration customer service helpline at 1-800-772-1213 and talk to the help desk.
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