Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 11, 2018 – There has been a rise in the risk of identity theft concerning Social Security Administration (SSA) online accounts. This could be due to the fact that over 34 million people currently perform business with the SSA online. Because the agency no longer sends yearly benefit statements via mail, a MySSA account is the only means by which to acquire an estimate of future benefits.
Florida social security disability attorney David W. Magann says, “If you qualify for Social Security benefits or will in the near future, it would be to your advantage to create an online SSA account.”
In addition, MySSA provides a convenient way in which to handle mundane paperwork online, as well as the ability to update the address on file for the account, or begin or modify direct deposit of benefits. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported last year that the SSA receives over 50 percent of all retirement and disability benefit applications by way of the Internet.
This represents a significant increase from 10 years ago, when that number was considerably less. The change is due, in part, to a more extensive effort at modernizing the SSA. It also results from an attempt to deal with a growing demand for its services at a time when there have been dramatic Congressional reductions to its administrative budget.
However, in an era marked by hacking and identity theft, taking Social Security online also adds an element of risk. The SSA stores sensitive information about almost all Americans, including those who are alive and deceased. Such information includes medical and financial records. Among the risks associated with the shift to online Social Security accounts is increased chance of identity theft. Almost all Social Security benefits are disbursed through electronic means, and thieves can reroute electronic payments to their own accounts.
Last fall, the SSA counseled the public that the most effective method to prevent identity theft is to create an account to eliminate the risk of the creation of an account in a person’s name by someone else. The concern is that cyber thieves could claim accounts and file for benefits.