Jun 21, 2013

Problems With MySocialSecurity

     From the testimony of Theresa Gruber, Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Operations, Social Security Administration to the Senate Special Committee on Aging:
In May 2013, we added key measures to combat fraud through our on line MySocialSecurity portal. For example, we have added unique and stringent fraud protection tools to our online registration and authentication technology. Because of these changes, we have seen a significant drop in the volume of successful MySocialSecurity registrations - indicating we may be preventing some fraudulent accounts from being established. We also established an executive-level workgroup tasked to identify additional fraud deterrent measures to explore and implement, including items recommended by OIG. We will be implementing several of these real-time fraud prevention measures by the end of the year. In August 2013, we will eliminate the ability change payment information via the internet for users who have a block in place.
     Some things to note here. At the moment, putting a block on one's online MySocialSecurity "portal" doesn't prevent some stranger from using one's online MySocialSecurity "portal" to divert your Social Security benefits to a bank account they control. Are you kidding me? What does a "block" mean if it doesn't block this? Why is Social Security even pretending that a "block" is of some use when they know it is worthless and they don't have a plan to change this situation for at least another couple of months? Second, now that Social Security has implemented new fraud prevention measures, they've seen a significant drop in online registrations. This indicates one of two things: either fraudulent registrations were a significant part of all registrations or a significant number of those who want to establish an account for genuine reasons are being thwarted by the new security measures. Either way, this isn't good news.


Anonymous said...

I tried to create an online account this week after reading about all of these thefts and diversions, as well as after finding out that I had an unknown inquiry last week on my credit report from a major bank for "bank credit cards" that I did not seek. Being that I'm paying extortion fees to the credit bureau for monitoring, they notified me.

Creating the account amounts to being able to answer questions from your credit report. I got hit with a question about car loans, and having had multiple vehicles and multiple loans, I got it wrong. That locked me out.

Eventually, I figured out I couldn't create the account no matter what, because I had made the credit bureau put a fraud alert on my file. You can't create a MYSS account while having the alert.

I learned my only options were to remove the fraud alert or visit an SS office. I chose the latter.

As I sat at the window and discussed the whole thing, everyone in the waiting area was able to hear the clerk asking for my ssn, dob, mother's maiden name, and all sorts of other juicy data that would help an identity thief. Anyone with a cell phone could have sat their making notes about it all. I know they could hear it, because I heard it from all the people who went before me. I was pretty disgusted about it.

I doubt there's anyway possible that my non-computer savvy parents could create one of these things. Not that they know they even exist anyway.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that happens in EVERY SSA office. What some choose to do is write all of that information on a piece if paper and hand it over. If you're worried about losing that paper, other offices have used small dry erase boards to write on.

People have a real false sense of security. Our information is everywhere out there just waiting to be compiled by some crook.

In addition, according th the info above, putting a "block" on the account doesn't provide protection against changing payment data. That's not what we were told in the field. We've been told if the account is blocked, nothing can be changed without visiting a field office. Seems they're saying two different things.

Anonymous said...

An eServices block will prevent the ability to create a mySocialSecurity account, or access to an account that was previously created. With a block in place no one will have access to the direct deposit function, and therefore it is impossible to change DD online.