Thieves targeting social security payments - WFLA News Channel 8

Thieves targeting social security payments

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Fraudsters are targeting Social Security checks in a scheme that involves rerouting money using the Social Security Administration's own website.

Pasco County resident Barbara Marrs said it happened to her, but she caught it before her money was sent to a bank account in Miami.

"It was scary," said Marrs, 72.

Marrs says she was tipped off when she got a letter from the Social Security Administration, confirming a new online account that she says she did not create.

Reports of fraud allegations involving the scheme have come in from a number of locations around the country, said Jonathan Lasher, assistant inspector general for external relations in the Social Security Administration's Office of Inspector General.  Lasher said the allegations are referred to the office by SSA.

The scheme appears to be similar to one that surfaced last year, involving redirected payments.

Last year, thieves obtained personal information and used several strategies to redirect money, including just calling SSA, Lasher said.  This year, suspects appear to be creating "my Social Security" accounts on ssa.gov.

Authorities made some arrests for the fraud last year, and say in some cases suspects called individuals and told them they won the lottery, then collected personal information.

Marrs says she did not get a call like that, and doesn't know how someone got her social security number.

Individuals can block electronic access to accounts by going to this website

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @WFLATAMPA

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Outpouring of support for New Port Richey soldier dealing with squatters

    Outpouring of support for New Port Richey soldier dealing with squatters

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:21 PM EDT2014-04-23 17:21:16 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community. Many News Channel 8 viewers and Facebook followers are angry about what happened to the soldier.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community. Many News Channel 8 viewers and Facebook followers are angry about what happened to the soldier.
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • Disabled vet reunited with service dog lost in car wreck

    Disabled vet reunited with service dog lost in car wreck

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 1:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 17:49:00 GMT
    Luke Macner and Nina. Photo courtesy the Humane Society of Tampa BayLuke Macner and Nina. Photo courtesy the Humane Society of Tampa Bay
    A disabled Tampa veteran was brought to tears Tuesday when he was reunited with his service dog after she went missing in a car wreck.
    A disabled Tampa veteran was brought to tears Tuesday when he was reunited with his service dog after she went missing in a car wreck.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.