Identity Theft Strikes The Accountability Family

I forgot my cell phone in my car all day Monday so when I got out there on Tuesday morning I noticed I had missed seven calls.  Once I got to work I listened to the messages. One call was from the local Social Security office, calling about Big A’s benefits.  If you’ve been reading Out of Debt Again for a while, you may remember that Big A has Down Syndrome.  Overall, I’ve had good experiences with Social Security over the years, so I tried to stay positive, and not imagine the worst until the office opened at 8am.

I called a few minutes after 8, dialing the extension I’d been given.  The lady who answered sounded cheerful and friendly, and said she had just been thinking about me, and hoped I would return her call.  She then asked, in a joking tone of voice, if we’d put Big A to work as a maid in the first quarter of 2008.  She said they had earnings showing up on his social security number for over $4000 in that time period.

When I said he wasn’t working as a maid, and in fact wasn’t employed at all, she said she didn’t think so.  She said she was going to mail me a identity theft packet, and among other instructions, I’d find an 800 number to call to report this.  She advised me to do a credit check for Big A, and make sure they haven’t opened any other accounts under his social security number.

I’m sure the person who stole my son’s social security number just pulled a number out of the air. I hope.  I really hope his social security number wasn’t stolen because someone, somewhere, didn’t dispose of his confidential information properly.

I’ll update on this situation as I learn more.

Mrs. Accountability

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13 thoughts on “Identity Theft Strikes The Accountability Family

  1. You can buy packages of address/birth dates/social security numbers on the gray market for a couple bucks. It makes going through trash not even worth it. And it’s not even illegal.

    The part that surprises me is that someone was actually reporting maid income (wow!).

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi dogatemyfinances: That’s horrible at how easy it is to get those “packages” you mention. As I understand, it was the employer that reported the income, not an employee. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  2. Oh, wow. At least Social Security is cognizant of Big A’s situation and so it’s obvious to them that this is anomalous. I’ll be interested in updates too.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Shevy, yes I was glad to hear that they are watching that sort of thing. And yes, thankfully they realize that Big A has Down Syndrome and more than likely isn’t working as a maid. Although I know some people with Down Syndrome might be capable of having a job like this, Big A is not one of them. Social Security has always been good to deal with. Unlike our state medical insurance system which doesn’t take into consideration the disability when refusing to prescribe medications that are easier to use. Big A has asthma and they are insisting that he use an inhaler, when the nebulizer is much easier for him. At least they had mercy and approved an Aero-Chamber with a mask to make it easier. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  3. that’s crazy… just to be safe. I would get a number from the ss website and call to reconfirm. It could be a phishing scam too. Probably not but it’s better to be safe than sorry and mail confidential information to a random person. Do the credit check ASAP.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Debtor, oh actually they didn’t ask for me to send anything. The SS office is supposed to send me a identify theft packet which has information on what to do when your identity is stolen. I know it was the SS office because I called and got their office. But thanks for the warning, I will be cautious. And I still haven’t gotten to the credit check, I am going to try to do that today. Big A had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and it’s always a big ordeal so I have been a little stressed out. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  4. Ugh! If there’s one possible silver lining, it’s that because the income was reported, it may just be someone who needed an SSN to get a job who doesn’t plan to use the number for anything else. (Living in southern California, illegal immigrants immediately come to mind.) I hope that’s all it is, that she hasn’t tried to do anything else with the number, and that it’s very easy to take care of.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Cathy, I immediately assumed it was an illegal immigrant since we are in Arizona. And like I said, hopefully they just came up with the number out of their own head, I hope Big A’s information wasn’t sold. I also hope it will be easy to take care of. And then I’ll have to be careful to watch for things like this in the future. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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