Follow
Share

I finally became the "SS Payee" on my mother's account today. The SS clerk read off the account number to the direct deposit account at her credit union. I told him that was not her checking account number nor her routing number. He responded saying that is where the money has been going. After I got off of the phone I checked her credit union account I realized that no deposits have been made into her account since Feb. 26, this year! That explains why for the past 6 weeks I never received the 1099 copy that I have been asking for, the address did not match either of the ONLY 2 addresses that could have ever been given to SS. Now I have to proceed with the police dept. for identity theft for my mother. Does anyone know if SS will reimburse us for the missing $5000?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Oops - I apologize for cross posting - I see you've already done some impressive detective work! Here's hoping they nail that thief and are grateful for your help!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I might be confused, but is it possible the assisted living facility got rep payee first and has been taking their payments that way? My dad's nursing home sent a notice they were going to do that, but I got it instead and paid the bills for anything not covered by Medicaid. It involved doing a questionnaire and going to a social security office but wasn't any huge ordeal.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Actually the thief used their address which is 3-4 miles from where my mom's house is and it was on the first 1099 they sent me on Sat. I googled the address, looked at the house with google earth camera, online white pages gave me the name of the person who owns the home, and FaceBook showed me her open public FB pages, and my state provides free open access to all court cases filed and the outcomes of trials (if it is her she owes a ton in back taxes to the Feds and the state). The world of technology is called a web for a reason, you can get caught in it if you are stupid enough to think that you can't be found. I plan on watching the local paper for when indictments are reported and follow the free arrest records online!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have to meet with the police tomorrow to make a police report. I already contacted the FTC as stated on SS website for what to do with stolen checks. FTC told me to contact Trans credit agency which I did already and they gave me a list of information they want in the form of a letter with a brief description of what happened and they want copies of my POA paperwork! They put a 90 day hold on mom's credit file so that nothing can be opened up in her name or someone using her SS#.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

BLS, other federal agencies such as the FBI could examine the online account, locate the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the computer, contact the ISP (Internet Service Provider) and determine the address of the individual(s) who made the changes. In other words, the individual(s) who made these unauthorized changes can be traced by law enforcement.

SS should, I would think, be involving the FTC as well -
it also has juridction over fraud issues.

You might contact the local State Police and ask them if they participate in an Internet Fraud task force, and explain the issue to them. I learned the Michigan State Police were involved in such a task force some years ago. There are also Federal task forces dealing with identity fraud.

Maybe with more local agencies involved, you can increase the pressure on the fraudsters and possibly recover some of the stolen funds, although I suspect that money is long gone by now.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Also it should be noted that SS checks are sent out on a certain time frame depending on what day of the month your birthday is on. $$ was always deposited into my mother's account between the 26 and 29 of the month. Her birthday is on the 27. My Mil gets hers the same timeframe also and her b-day is the 28th. My Fil birthday is on the 8th on the month and he gets his check between 6- 9th.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sending a verified email to the thief does not verify that the information goes to the real person of the SS#. When they set up the false online account representing themselves as my mother they could/ did give answers to questions as they wanted the answers to be, not what my mother would have answered. There is no way we could access the account on - line because we did not know the answers to the questions they chose as mom's security questions. It is a grossly flawed system that assumes that the person setting up the account is doing it truthfully as specified on the recording at the beginning of the process. Identity theft is a felony on its own merits, add to it the $6000 they have stolen so far from my mother who knows how many other people have fallen victim !
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The new way that SS has payments set up is you either have to have direct deposit or you can have a debit card that they just put the money on it whenever your payment is do. SS went paperless payments just this March. It is my understanding that everyone has to choose how they want be paid. We had set up mom with direct deposit 3 years ago and told then was what the government wants everyone to do. Once she stopped driving ( lucky for us she drove her car to my sister's house and said for them to keep it, no fighting over that issue) we would have to take her to the credit union several times a month so that she could move her money around. We called it "doing the money shuffle". My sister would watch the account and put money back into checking if she saw it getting low, mom had stopped keeping the checkbook balanced a few years earlier.
I only pray that by changing the mailing address on the SS account does not screw up Medicare. I have already had one foul up with them when I tried to get them to use my address for her mailing address because I was POA. That resulted in them refusing to pay claims because her Drs. are out of her service area according to my address. It took 3 months for me to get someone at Medicare to understand that ****Jack Rabbit was my address and not the name of her POA! They would refuse to talk to me! In that case I found out that Medicare answers phone calls on weekends and it was a weekend worker who laugh at the obvious mistake that someone at Medicare made. My hair has grown back in now from me pulling it out over that one! ( if I can't joke about it I would go crazy!)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yes, I am following and sympathizing. Some government employees are great, but others don't treat people so well. It was none of her business who was handling your mother's money up until the time you requested to be rep payee. She was looking for someone to blame apparently.

It is easy to open a SS account online. They do send a verifying email to the address you give them, and they do ask questions that only you would probably have ready answers to. For example, a choice of roads you lived on in a certain year or if you had an account opened somewhere and when it was opened. But anyone who had known a person for a while is likely to be able to answer the questions. (The bad thing is some of the questions are so specific that I had trouble remembering the answers myself. I guessed and got them right.)

Government workers -- what can you say? They are among the best and the worst. I hope you get all this straightened out soon. I don't like that she tried to make you feel at fault for the identity theft.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The Social Security Administration should be able to track the account into which the checks were wrongly deposited. They would need to have this information in order to send the deposit. I am surprised that they have not made a request of the bank in question to return the funds. Years ago when a family member died on the last day of the month and the automatic deposit was already in process, it took SS one day to claw the funds back after they were notified of the death. Maybe they need to wait until they are convinced that a fraud has occurred, but it would seem that the longer they wait, the less likely it is that there would be any money left in the account. And yes, several of us are interested in following this to see how it is resolved. We never know if something like this could happen to us.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

So...if any of you are follow my continuing saga.....I sat fer 3 hours before the SS lady called me back to ask why I was there. 2 hours 15 minutes later we were done. Mind you the SS closes their doors at 3pm and I left at 5:10 pm. She blamed me for not watching my mother's account closer, she could care less that I told her that my sister was supposed to be doing that. We are trying to share responsibilities for mom. She asked why didn't I bring any bills made out to my mom's name that I pay, she could clearly see on the credit union statements that we have automatic pay for the electric bill, water bill and the Visa card. I write 2 checks a month 1 check for the ALF and 1 check for the pharmacy bill. She asked about the mortgage bill, the house is paid off, she asked about the property tax bill, I told her that is not available online until Aug.1, and will be paid online. What part of mom has no paper bills mailed to her anymore, we cancelled everything. We cancelled all clubs, all coin collections, all Red Hat pins, and all magazines and Readers Digest books over a year ago when mom moved into the first ALF. She had me write a 4 page report about everything I was trying to explain to her and everything that I was told by her fellow co-worker who handled the on-line "Payee" application last Thursday. I made sure to tell her and write it down that I DID speak up when I was asked about her mailing address being wrong and the bank routing number not matching what is on her personal checks! It looks like this will not be fixed overnight!
On a different subject....there is a poster in the SS office that tells everyone that they can open a "My account" to follow their SS account on line and that all you have to do is to register online. Once registered you can now CHANGE your mailing address and your DIRECT deposit information on-line! Holy cow! We didn't have that account opened on-line for my mom the thief beat us to it and stupidly registered an account in my mom's name with their address and bank information! That account is now frozen! How that can be allowed to be done online with no verification yet I have to prove everything about who, what and why I need a copy of a 1099 and want to be the "payee". Insane! Anybody can open such an account with just a SS#, go online you will see how easy it is. Unless you do it now before a thief gets to your SS# they can screw you like I /mom have been! Tomorrow I go in person to file a police report in the county where the crime has been committed..........
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I think it might be the ALF also. I am going to SS in the morning to formally file a fraud case. They told me to bring bank statements, I printed them off tonight.
I don't blame my sister for not catching it either. She and he husband have just as many health concerns as my husband does and with the added responsibility of monitoring mom's account she dropped the ball. For the past year or more nothing ever happened with mom's account. My sister has gradually weeded out all of the automatic subscriptions, memberships, payments for very small life insurance policies that are not needed that the same 4-5 items are there month after month after month. She got out of the habit of checking.
As much as I want to contact the ALF place I don't want to scare the person off if they are still there. Actually, this particular house has another across the street and the care givers go back and forth if they need something. That opens up even more possible suspects. After I go to the SS office I have to go to the police station in the county where the fraud occurred to have a report written up then send the report number to the FTC. Who knows maybe I will eat lunch out tomarrow after everything gets done!
I'll just take a deep breath, exhale and get on with life.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

bls, I think there is a special place in h*ll for people who steal from or defraud the elderly. Things are in motion now. I don't know how these type people sleep at night. Something like this wouldn't just happen accidentally. My biggest question is how the crooks got her information to carry this out.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My sad guess would be that this is someone working at ALF. If I were you, I would report the address to ALF and ask them to cross check if any of their employess list that as home address. Very sad and scary.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Are you sure the assisted living facility wasn't made payee earlier? That's the first thing I'd check. Should be fairly easy to do that...like, have you been paying full boat for her monthly fee to the ALF? Or is it possible they've been deducting her Social Security check from the charge?

Social Security should be able to track WHY they began depositing her check to another account. I have to believe there's a Fraud Investigation Department at Social Security. Get in touch with them if the ALF hasn't been receiving her check.

Talk to your sister about how this happened. She's been the gatekeeper of your mom's finances in order to protect her. What the heck happened? I handle mom's finances. I'd miss her SS in the first month.

If I had to make a wild guess what happened here, I'd say that the ALF has been receiving her check.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I want to drive by their house the next time that I go up to see my mom but I know that I shouldn't!
The thing that burns me up about all of this is the fact that my mother's address has been what it is since July 1962.I have never given her ALF address to anyone because I don't want ANY mail to go to where she is. But when I told everybody at SS that they would not tell me what address they had on record because I was not the "Payee". My constant questioning should have raised a red flag with them!! Idiots!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Glad you're making progress on resolving this issue. Were you able to figure out how these people got your mother's check transferred to their account?

I'm also wondering if they used any of your mother's money to pay down their IRS debt, and if so, I assume that would also constitute another count(s) of fraud in addition to the theft of your mother's funds.

Anyway, it's good to hear that a resolution is in process.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Update!! The paperwork came today for me being the "Payee" on my mother's account. The mailing address was on the copy of the 1099 form!! Since we are considered "private pay" mom's SS always went to her checking account. Over the past year she has always checked mom's credit union statement online (no paper copies) She eventually got all direct payments cancelled for the numerous junk that was being sent to my mother. Credit union statement got down to direct payment for electric, water, Visa (we use for mom) and 2 checks written by me for the ASF and the pharmacy bill. For whatever reason my sister stopped checking the statement this year, but she and her husband have had a lot of health issues themselves this year so I don't blame them. I didn't check either, she was to one supposed to check. We both have too many balls in the air lately and it happened.........I looked up the address online that is where SS kept sending the 1099 and it is only about 3 miles from my mother's house. The internet gave us the name of the people living there and public court cases records show that the people owe $18000 to the IRS!
I go Monday back to SS to do a fraud report and I have put a 90 hold with the credit bureaus.......stupid people ID theft is a felony and they think that they will get a way with it when the routing number goes to their bank or the check gets credit onto a debit card. They will know soon when the debit card does not work. I just hope that I am there to see them in court!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I would think that the police would as part of their investigation get printouts of disbursements/checks written from the credit union account into which the deposits were made. The identity of the account holder would also be a factor in the investigation, especially if it's linked to the AL facility, your sister, or someone else.

There are a lot of issues to follow to get to the bottom of this in addition to determining whether SS will additionally pay again for the missing deposits, which I question unless they were at fault. I would think recovery would be part of the criminal sentence if the case is adjudicated.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

More info helps. So the change occurred when arrangements are being made to move mom to a new location. So did her checks go the AL place for payment of her bills? Check with them. Did they recently hire/fire anyone who could have had access to mom's info? Have you asked your sister about this? Is this why she didn't scream her head off when the deposits weren't coming in? If she didn't know about it don't count on her reliability in the future. She botched this. If the AL wasn't getting paid at least in part by the SS check, why didn't they scream about payment issues? I'm thinking about letting the credit union off my suspicion radar. Your sister may be at fault here if she arranged for the payments to go elsewhere than into mom's account with a subsequent payment to AL. That may have something to do with your having to become the representative payee, right? If the money ended up with the AL I can't see it being replaced by SS. If it ended up somewhere else there is more to be done...the identity theft line of investigation. But at this point I'm going for sister problems.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sorry - I missed that you needed the 1099 for an aid application. My apologies.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I've never been someone's else payee so I'm not familiar with what's involved, but I'm assuming you needed a 1099 for your mother for her taxes? And it was during this process that you discovered the checks had not been directly deposited since Feb. 26?

What does your sister say about this? Were there any questions of the SS check being deposited in the wrong account prior to Feb.?

I hope you're not in Michigan, because it's recently been discovered that someone in the DMC medical group was releasing patient information illegally. It sounds as though that may have happened to your mother's funds since it occurred after your mother was seen by Urgent Care. Or it could be a breach of confidentiality at the ALF place.

Regardless, I don't know what SS policy is on replacing fraudulent misappropriate of funds. I would think working your way up to a supervisor might be the only way to determine if these funds would be replaced.

But I would also contact a local legislative rep or two and see what they can do to intervene. I don't know if there are any federal SS committees or subcommittees, but your local rep should be able to direct you to a rep if there are such committees.

I'm sure there is a policy but it might be that SS doesn't want to commit at this point until an investigation is done.

Good luck; this must be very distressing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hope this works out. Just a tip. I only give the last 4 of my social to anyone but my employer and my bank.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you to everyone who has offered advice, that why I came here first for support! You all are the greatest!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I did not make myself question clear. I needed a 1099 in order to apply for Aid benefits for my mother. I went to the SS office 6-7 weeks ago to get a copy. They could not give me one because SS doesn't recognize POA. He said he would mail a copy to my mother's address on file, he could not tell me what address that was. 4 weeks later no 1099 ever came. I went back again this time with a new letter from her Dr. saying she had dementia and would not get better only worse( POA letter was 16 months old, they wanted new letter. I asked again for another 1099 copy to be sent. 2 weeks went by no 1099 but once SS clerk received Drs. medical forms faxed back he would do over the phone the interview for me to become "Payee". He mentioned wrong address on file and told me wrong routing number for direct deposit. I questioned both. I told him routing number did not come close to her Credit Union numbers. He said everything was good to go. She has had direct deposit for 3 years. After the phone call I checked Credit Union statements and discovered that no deposits had been made into her account from SS since Feb. 26 this year. My sister was supposed to be monitoring her monthly statements online for any automatic monthly payouts. Her address change and direct deposit change had to have happened after Feb check for March's SS check. We did not change anything. Mom' s SS number was given out to an urgent care place in Feb and that is the only time. We moved mom into another ALF in March for a higher level of care. The new place has a copy of mom's Medicare card in a safe if she were to have to go to the hospital. SS website says to contact FTC identity fraud office, they said get police report, notify credit bureau places...........sounds like this is going to be a very big hassle. I just want to know is/will there be any recourse from SS since they were the ones duped by someone or is she out minimum 5 months of checks.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Free copies of credit reports from each of the credit reporting agencies can be obtained once a 90 day fraud alert is placed. After getting a copy of the police report, a 5 (or might be 7) year alert can be placed.

VegasLady, interesting theory on the credit union's role. Seems like there are a lot of unanswered questions here.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Actually these days only some of the SS checks come out on the third. New payees get their checks on the first to fourth Wednesday of the month according to the day of the month they were born. My birthday is on the 13th and my check comes on the third Wednesday and the actual date varies with the calendar. It spreads the workload out. (SSI comes on the first.). If SS doesn't replace those checks in a few months contact the local office of your federal senator or representative to get action. Now order a credit report on mom and find out if anything else has been going on. And what is the credit union's excuse? What ID did they see to open this account? Was it a new account or was this just added to the account? Did your.mom have an account there? I'm suspicious of an inside job at the cu.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Do you know when this change occurred, and were the checks being deposited into your mother's account before this?

Have you discovered any other financial anomalities?

I think I would immediately add a fraud alert to her credit file, just in case.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This is a mess. I am glad that you caught it. The SS checks go out at the start of each month and are usually deposited around the 3rd of the month. I wonder if it might be someone your mother knows. Federal identity theft is serious, so the person who did it must be either very crafty or crazy. I also wondered if your mother had assigned another payee for some reason. You should know something soon.

I don't know what the procedure is when it comes to stolen checks. Were you able to get the new bank information with you as the rep payee? They will probably have to finish investigating the 5 months and try to claw back the payments if they can. Your local SS office should be able to tell you what is going to happen.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.