Thursday, September 12, 2013
Tens of thousands of Americans have been scammed out of their social security checks and it's all being done online.
In march, the Social Security Administration made a change and now almost everyone who gets a social security check has them directly deposited into their account.
The idea was it would cut down on costs and prevent people from snatching checks out of mailboxes but thieves have found a way to steal the checks anyway.
Local business owner Robert Boewe tells us this week he got a letter about his social security checks and the online account he supposedly just set up. The problem is Boewe set up his account five years ago so he took his letter to the local social security office.
"It just so happens there was a couple behind me that got the same kind of letter,” Robert Boewe said.
Boewe says that couple found out someone had gone online and redirected their checks to be directly deposited to a bank account in St. Louis.
"And so I went into the office and was finally interviewed and found out the same thing had happened to me,” Boewe said.
We called the Regional Social Security Office in Kansas City to find out how this is happening but none of our calls were returned.
We did find a report delivered to congress from the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration. In it, he says as of June , 2013, his office has received more 37, 000 similar to Boewe's and they continue to receive about 50 new reports every day.
"It is tragic when people pray on seniors we need to do everything we can to protect them from this kind of fraud,” Rep. Mike Pompeo said.
Robert Boewe turns 70 this year. He says whoever got their hands on his information, tried to steal money he's been earning his entire life.
"At some point I will retire I'm not looking forward to it, I enjoy what I do. But it's just my money. I've been working since I was 14 years old,” Boewe said.
If you think you've been a victim of social security fraud, call 1-800-772-1213.