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Social Security News

Scammers Using MySocialSecurity Solicitation to Get Personal Information from Seniors

Social Security Q&A also has instructions on how to get your retirement estimate online

Feb. 3, 2014 – The “my Social Security” account has been receiving considerable attention lately, including a complaint from the Social Security Advisory Board that it should not replace the annual mailed paper statement. It has also become a tool for crooks to try to grab personal information from senior citizens online, according to this week’s Social Security Q&A column. There is also information at how to get your retirement estimate online. (Click to complaint by Advisory Board or see link in sidebar.)

Question:

When did Social Security start sending emails to people asking them to create a “my Social Security” account?  I have never provided my email to Social Security.

 

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Read more Social Security News

also check Medicare and Senior Politics

 

Answer:

The email you received is not from Social Security. Be warned that "phishing" e-mails encouraging you to create a “my Social Security” account are circulating. If you receive such an e-mail, do not click on the links. This e-mail is not from Social Security. “my Social Security” is indeed a recently released new service for the public, but the agency is not sending e-mails to generate enrollment.

You should go directly to our “my Social Security” page if you want to create your account. Here are a few tips on how to detect a fraudulent e-mail message. Any e-mail coming from Social Security will come from an e-mail address ending in “.gov”, although you should not trust the “From” address, since attackers can spoof this address.

Any E-mail coming from Social Security will not have e-mail addresses associated with private companies such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc. Look for poor word choice, phrasing, spelling, or extra words that are not needed in the text.

Links to Social Security websites will always begin with http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ or https://secure.ssa.gov/ (the slash after ".gov" is important).

Social Security Advisory Board says MYSSA is fine but should not replace the paper statement.

If you are suspicious of a link in an e-mail, use your mouse to “hover over” the link to see the web address. Never respond to e-mails requesting personal information. No reputable business or public agency will ever ask you for personal information in an e-mail address. Only go to websites you trust and never click on links that appear suspicious. Criminals use phony websites and links to trick you into giving them personal information or downloading viruses or spyware.

Members of the public who receive phishing E-mails should forward them to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team - email mailto:phishing-report@us-cert.gov

Question:

Is there an online method for getting my Social Security retirement estimate?

Answer:

Yes. You can use our Retirement Estimator, go to our website at  www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

You must enter certain identifying information about yourself, including your
   >  first name,
   >  last name,
   >  date of birth,
   >  Social Security number,
   >  place of birth and
   >  mother’s maiden name.

If the information that you provide does not match Social Security’s records, then you will receive an on-screen message that you cannot use the Retirement Estimator.

If the personal information that you provide does match our records, then you can use the Retirement Estimator to enter other information, such as your expected retirement age and future wages. This information then will be combined with the information that Social Security has on record about your past earnings to provide a quick and reliable online benefit estimate. You will see only your final retirement estimates.

The Retirement Estimator does not show the earnings record information used to calculate your final benefit estimate.

Oscar Garcia is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can also email him at Oscar.h.garcia@ssa.gov.

 

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