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NBT Bank Fraud Alerts

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Identity Thieves Seeking to Redirect Social Security Benefits

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued a warning to the public and Social Security beneficiaries in particular, to be aware of fraud scams that target personal information. Criminals are using phone calls, emails and other methods to obtain personal information in order to commit identity theft.

In a recent scam the identity thieves obtained the personal information of Social Security beneficiaries and used the information to set up a "My Social Security" account on the SSA's website. If they are successful they can then use that account to redirect the beneficiary's direct deposit to an account owned by the thief.

If you receive information from the SSA indicating that you have opened a "My Social Security" account, and you did not open the account, you should immediately contact Social Security so that appropriate action can be taken and the matter may be referred to the OIG. You can do so by contacting your local office of the SSA or by calling their toll free customer service at 800-772-1213. Deaf or hearing impaired individuals can call the SSA's TTY number at 800-325-0778.

To help prevent this type of fraud, you should:

  • never provide your personal information when receiving unsolicited calls or contacts
  • never agree to accept pre-paid debit cards or credit cards in another person's name
  • never agree to send or wire money to an unknown person
  • always contact your local SSA office if you receive a call from a person claiming to be from SSA, and that person asks you to provide your Social Security number or other information.