A new kind of Social Security scam has left local beneficiaries wondering where their money is.
Pills and bills eat up Patricia Bell's monthly Social Security check.This will only get bigger and bigger. Social Security management needs to face the facts. The online accounts are way too susceptible to fraud. This is probably becoming a cottage industry in places like China or Nigeria. I believe that all you need is access to credit reports and that's not that difficult. Identify an older person using the credit reports, use the information from the older person's credit report to open an account Social Security account in the person's name, divert one month's benefits to a bank account you control and withdraw the money using an ATM. If you're overseas, what's your risk?
"Without Social Security, we'd have nothing," said Bell, 71, of Okeechobee.
When she got a letter in the mail saying she had created an online account on Social Security's website, she called her son.
"Right then, I stopped, I said, I didn't do this," said Bell.
But someone had, stealing her personal information, including her Social Security number.
"I have no idea how they did that, " said Bell.
A crook used Social Security's new online system to change her direct deposit information.
They redirected her $1,200 check to themselves. ...
Nationwide, 36,000 have fallen victim since May of 2011.