Transcript: Protecting Your Personal Information

Do you get Social Security Benefits by direct deposit?

Have you had any strange requests for your personal information?

Strange calls?

Email saying you've won the foreign lottery?

Some people's Social Security benefits are being stolen by thieves who get their personal information and then change the account where SSA sends the benefits.

We're investigating and we'll stop it from happening.

But until we do, be careful with your information.

Because preventoing identity theft is a lot easier than fixing the damage it does.

How Do Identity Thieves Obtain My Personal Information?

Make sure you only give out your information on websites that you trust.

Avoid disclosing personal information when using cell phones and other wireless technology.

Never trust a foreign lottery. They’re illegal to play and sound too good to be true.

I shred any piece of paper that contains my personal information such as name, date of birth, and Social Security Number.

How Do I Protect My Personal Information?

I regularly monitor my bank and credit card accounts to make sure there are no suspicious transactions.

I keep my Social Security card in a safe place at home.

I request a free yearly credit report at annual credit report dot com.

. I always make sure my passwords are complicated so someone can’t access my information.

What Should I Do If My Personal Information Has Been Stolen?

Place an initial fraud alert by calling one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies.

Check your Social Security earnings statement online to make sure your SSN hasn’t been compromised.

Order your credit report from one of three major reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

Contact your financial providers to flag any irregular transactions.

Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for more helpful tips.

Message from the Inspector General

Please be cautious when you are giving personal information out over the Internet or phone. You should never provide your Social Security number, bank account numbers, or other sensitive information unless you are certain of the identity of the person you’re giving it to. 

If you have questions about a letter or a phone call from someone claiming to be from Social Security Administration, you should contact your local Social Security office, or call Social Security’s toll-free customer service number at 1-800-772-1213.

Remember:

SSA will never call you to ask for your Social Security number.

Don’t carry your Social Security card in your wallet.

And don’t believe e-mails saying you’ve won the lottery, AND

Protect your Social Security number.

Thank you.