In a report Thursday from the Napa Valley Register, Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley confirms multiple Napa County residents reported receiving letters from the Social Security Administration confirming a Social Security benefit claim has been made under their Social Security number.
The problem is none of these residents filed any claims for their benefits yet.
According to Haley, the letters coming from the Administration are unfortunately legitimate–meaning someone somewhere has obtained the personal information necessary to file a claim in these individuals’ names in an attempt to rob them of their benefit payments:
“If you received a letter in the mail from the Social Security Administration (SSA) stating that you filed a claim for Social Security benefits, and you have not filed a claim for benefits, then someone is using your personal identifying information to file a fraudulent claim.”
How this information was obtained isn’t made clear in the report, but as we’ve written numerous times, the ways a would-be Social Security thief could get this information from a victim are practically endless. And sometimes incredibly easy.
Haley warns Napa, California residents to be on the look-out if they receive any communication from the SSA regarding benefit filing if they haven’t yet filed. It may mean their identities have been stolen or sold, as well.
The DA recommends if you see something like this in your mailbox, contact the police, file an identity theft report, and report the suspect theft to the major credit bureaus to prevent further damage to your identity.
You should also contact the Office of the Inspector General at the Social Security Administration right away.