While the internet has only made identity theft easier for criminals in recent years, the web can also prove helpful in busting those posing as someone else. To wit: The family of a boy who died in 1972 at two months old recently found a man accused of posing as the deceased child while researching their family tree online. [More]
social security administration
Earlier this month, a Government Accountability Office report found that $171 million was garnished from older Americans’ Social Security benefits in order to repay federal student loan debts. Now, one of those borrowers is suing several government agencies accusing them of taking money from his monthly disability checks despite the fact he was eligible for a student loan discharge. [More]
Being dead is very inconvenient, but having the government believe that you’re dead when you aren’t is even more inconvenient. Yet the Social Security Administration accidentally declares about 9,000 people living in the United States dead every year. Yet when this happens to someone, they struggle to find help and to get anyone to believe them so they can be brought back to life financially. [More]
Last week, the Washington Post publicized a disturbing new practice of the Social Security Administration and Department of the Treasury: holding on to taxpayers’ refunds in order to cover old debts. These were decades-old debts, usually Social Security overpayments made to the taxpayer’s late parents. There was an overwhelming negative reaction to the Post story, and people affected contacted their representatives in Congress. Now the Social Security Administration says that they’re ending the practice. [More]
Seniors are often targeted by scammers who prey on their limited incomes, and a new threat has the villains going after Social Security benefits. The shocking part is how easily the scheme is apparently pulled off: Thieves get personal information like names and bank account numbers, call the Social Security Administration and say “Hey, reroute that money to this other account.”
The Social Security Administration’s “Death Master” File sounds like something that is guarded by a specter resembling the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, but it’s really just a list of everyone who has recently moved on to another plane of existence. Regardless, the nation’s largest life insurance company is now on the hook for $500 million after being accused of using the Death Master File for its own benefit while ignoring it when it could benefit others.
Now you can know what Big Brother knows about you and get access to the same dirt everyone from your boss, landlord, insurance agent, to your favorite casino has on you. Here is a comprehenisve list of websites and phone numbers for most of the “specialty” consumer reports, like your employment, rental, and check writing history. Be sure to check them out and correct any errors, before a crisis hits.