Most Social Security beneficiaries are required to receive their payments through direct deposit rather than paper checks. Beneficiaries have a variety of methods available to change their direct deposit account information: they can call or visit an SSA office, call SSA’s 800-number, use SSA’s Website, or contact their financial institution (auto-enrollment).
Unauthorized direct deposit changes can occur when a perpetrator obtains enough personally identifiable information to redirect a payment from the beneficiary’s account into an account they control.
To protect beneficiaries from unauthorized account changes, in November 2012, SSA introduced the Direct Deposit Auto-Enrollment Fraud Prevention (DDFP) block. Beneficiaries or their representative payees may request a DDFP block because of alleged fraud or as a preventive measure.