Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Warn of Impersonation Scam Involving Credentials and Badges
New reports show that scammers are reviving an old tactic to gain your client’s trust. Scammers are emailing and texting pictures of real and doctored law enforcement credentials and badges to potential victims. They do this to ‘prove’ that they are legitimate and scam people out of money. Scammers may change the picture or use a different name, agency, or badge number, but the basic scam is the same.
Federal law enforcement agencies are warning the public to be skeptical of emails and text messages claiming to be from a government or law enforcement agency. No one in federal law enforcement will send photographs of credentials or badges to demand any kind of payment, and neither will government employees.
For more information about scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission Scams page at consumer.ftc.gov/scams.
Your Clients’ my Social Security Account Gets a New Look
We have exciting news to share! We redesigned my Social Security!
It’s now easier for your clients who receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to do business with us online and find the information that they need.
With the new design, people who receive Social Security benefits or SSI are now able to update their telephone number online and see more information under the Benefits and Payments section. People who receive Social Security benefits can also change their address and direct deposit information under the My Profile tab.
While signed into their personal my Social Security account, your clients can continue to:
- Get their Benefit Verification or proof of income letter.
- Obtain replacement SSA-1099/SSA-1042S tax forms, if applicable.
- View their Social Security Statement.
- Request a replacement Social Security card.
Your clients can access their redesigned my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount.
How Your Clients Can Apply Online for Benefits
Your clients do not need to wait for an appointment to apply for benefits or appeal a disability decision. They can apply online for the following benefits:
If your client disagrees with our decision on their claim, they can appeal the decision at www.ssa.gov/benefits/disability/appeal.html.
If your client does not want to apply online for benefits, or if they need to speak to us for any other reason, they can schedule, reschedule, or cancel an appointment by:
- Calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday.
- Contacting their local Social Security office. They can find the information for their local office at www.ssa.gov/locator.
Direct Your Clients to Social Security Online
More people are accessing information remotely. Our secure and convenient online services make it easy for your clients to do business with us from their preferred location. Please encourage your clients to visit www.ssa.gov/onlineservices.
Your clients will also benefit from opening a free, personal my Social Security account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount, where they can:
- View their personalized retirement benefit estimates.
- Instantly check the status of their application for benefits.
- Set up or change their direct deposit information if they receive Social Security benefits.
- Instantly get a letter proving they do or do not receive benefits.
- Request a replacement Social Security card.
- Choose to receive some notices online instead of in the mail.
Please share these helpful resources with your clients today.
Japan’s National Pension Recipients Subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision
Do you have a client who receives Japan’s National Pension? Is their benefit subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)? We recently updated the way we calculate Social Security benefits for recipients of Japan’s National Pension who are subject to WEP.
WEP reduces Social Security benefits for people who receive a foreign or domestic pension based on employment that was not subject to the Social Security payroll tax. WEP does not apply to residency-based pensions. We determined Japan’s National Pension is residency-based. For a person who is receiving Japan’s National Pension and is subject to WEP, their employer most likely deducted contributions for their pension.
However, people who receive payments from Japan’s Employees’ Pension Insurance (EPI) are subject to WEP. Unlike Japan’s National Pension, the EPI is based on a person’s earnings for which they did not pay U.S. Social Security payroll taxes. If a person receives payments from Japan’s National Pension and the EPI, we will only consider the EPI when determining whether WEP applies.
We are reviewing and correcting earnings records for beneficiaries who receive Japan’s National Pension and who are subject to WEP. If we owe benefits to a beneficiary, we will automatically credit their account.
Please share this information with your clients, members, colleagues, affiliates, and other interested parties. Our factsheet at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10045.pdf provides more information on the Windfall Elimination Provision.