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.)
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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