Earlier this year, the Social Security Administration (SSA) switched from cutting paper checks to recipients of Social Security Disability benefits to issuing direct deposits to beneficiary’s bank accounts. The move was made in an effort to provide the agency with a more streamlined and secure way to dispense payments.
However, reports indicate there have been a significant number of cases of Social Security Disability Fraud reported since the change was made. In fact, an article from the Patriot Ledger explains that estimates show as much as $28 million was stolen from beneficiaries between October 2011 and June of this year.
Those committing the fraud obtain a beneficiary’s private information, such as Social Security and bank account numbers. They then contact the SSA and have the account in which payments are deposited changed to their own.
This leaves many recipients wondering what they can do to protect themselves from being the victim of fraud. Experts say recipients should never give out personal information and should never send or wire money to a stranger. Furthermore, a recipient should contact their local SSA office if they receive a call from someone claiming to be from the agency and asking for a Social Security number.
The Social Security Disability Attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin acknowledge most Social Security recipients depend of their benefit payments to make ends meet. The firm hopes these tips will help to protect those individuals from fraud.