The Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General said in a recent report that millions of dollars were stolen through the SSA’s my Social Security portal after it launched a few years ago.
According to the report, SSA introduced the my Social Security portal in 2012 to allow individuals to create a personal online account to access their own information. In January 2013, the Agency enhanced the service to allow individuals to change their direct deposit bank information. Shortly after SSA made this change, the Agency and the Office of the Inspector General began receiving fraud allegations related to unauthorized direct deposit changes.
The IG estimates in its report that $10.9 million in benefit payments for about 7,200 beneficiaries was misdirected from 2014 through 2016. Of that amount, SSA was able to recover about $4.7 million, meaning the thieves were able to get away with about $6 million in total benefits payments.
The news was not all bad, however. The situation improved over the same time period in which the IG said that roughly $14.1 million in benefits was prevented from being misdirected from about 11,900 beneficiaries whose direct deposit bank account was changed without their authorization.