11 Call for Action Investigates Social Security Scam

Eddie Sabatini has a good watchdog, but nothing could protect her when crooks somehow told Social Security she wanted to change banks.

She's supposed to get a direct deposit every month, but October's check never came.

On top of that Social Security told her that she's the one who requested the change--that Eddie had asked for her money to be sent to GE Money Bank instead.

Eddie says she's never heard of GE Money Bank. She believes crooks found a way to divert her cash and rob the system.

Eddie explains, "I mean it's terrible what they're doing. Whoever did that got the check."

Eddie visited the Social Security office here on North Academy, and workers changed back her bank deposit information.

They also made sure another check was issued to her three weeks later.

Eddie was told by Social Security employees that others across the country were victims too.

Eddie remarks, "She said it was just rampant."

An online search does show others complaining of a breach just like Eddie's with Social Security funds going to a GE Money Bank account or being put on a GE Money Bank debit card.

GE Money Bank's fraud department called Eddie and explained it's investigating.

It warned her that her information had been compromised.

Social Security wouldn't comment and directed me to the U.S. Treasury Department.

I talked with three officials with the U.S. Treasury Department.

They explained they can't talk about Eddie's case, but a letter confirms they're investigating where her money went.

They say they still believe direct deposit is the safest way for Uncle Sam to deliver money to Social Security recipients. In fact, 90 percent of people get their funds that way.

To be on the safe side, I'm told those who collect Social Security via direct deposit should call or visit their local office to make sure the agency has their correct banking information.

I'm told recipients can also ask Social Security to list a relative on their account, so if any changes are ever made, that designated person is notified as well.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Brenda Location: N. California on May 2, 2012 at 11:25 AM
    Here's even a new twist. In January I had 1100 dolars removed from my bank account. There was a check from a store in CA with my routing number and account number which was obliterated with a signature by store person. I thought it was a mistake by bank. Didn't close my acct. I have ss direct deposit. Made no connection with ss. Bank returned my money. Last week now another check (same store) is made on my account for $3666. Same obliteration. Went to bank and now they say it's fraud and to close account. Now I'm thinking this is an inside job with ss. My routing number could never have been made public. I've only used that saving account for counter w/d or atm's. I have no checks on that acct. The ss has my routing number. They are the only ones beside my bank. The $3666 is more than most ss checks so this is a scam within the ss department. There will be some users of direct deposit who will not monitor their bank accounts (online) and it could slip by -- direct deposits are being made but money is whisked out. Beware!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 11, 2012 at 09:50 AM
    contact local social security office and report it as fraud they should issue a immediate payment, report it as fraud to oig, and correct the account info
  • by Erica Location: Sarasota on Apr 9, 2012 at 06:59 AM
    My moms soacial security check was also re routed to a GE Money Walmart debit card. Her money was initially replaced by social security but now they want the money back. There is NO ONE to help...social security, GE Money are a maze. The legal depeartment does not return phone calls. The local sherrif says it is out of their juristiction.My mother does not have the money to pay back SS and she should not have too...WTF!!!!
  • by sherry Location: boston on Apr 5, 2012 at 01:08 PM
    This fraud is still happening and there is still no remedy for those who are having their checks directly deposited! Check gone. No remedy. No responsibility taken by social security. GE Money is still the path with Wallmart debit card. This happened in Boston again today 4-5-12
  • by Patrick Location: port saint Lucie, Florida on Dec 6, 2011 at 11:32 AM
    my social security direct deposit, was some how routed to ge money bank. this was my payment for october. somebody changed my banking and routing information. I did not get my money back. social security said I had to take it up with the bank. every time I call ge money bank, they transfer me to their fraud department and I get hung up on. I have no idea what to do to get my money back. I really believe that this has something to do with, Go Direct. Go direct is an initiative to get everybody on direct deposit who gets their money from the department of treasury by 2013..... please somebody help, maybe a class action lawsuit against ge money bank. maybe another call to action is warranted here. Go direct is saying direct deposit is safer. but if I had a paper check I would be getting it back it would just take a lot longer. with direct deposit I'm not getting it back it all. it seems to me that paper is safer because there's a trail and the check has to be endorsed. with a direct deposit there is no check..... if anyone else is having any problems like this please comment. MY name is Patrick thank you for reading maybe some one can help...
  • by Patrick Location: port saint Lucie, Florida on Dec 6, 2011 at 11:32 AM
    my social security direct deposit, was some how routed to ge money bank. this was my payment for october. somebody changed my banking and routing information. I did not get my money back. social security said I had to take it up with the bank. every time I call ge money bank, they transfer me to their fraud department and I get hung up on. I have no idea what to do to get my money back. I really believe that this has something to do with, Go Direct. Go direct is an initiative to get everybody on direct deposit who gets their money from the department of treasury by 2013..... please somebody help, maybe a class action lawsuit against ge money bank. maybe another call to action is warranted here. Go direct is saying direct deposit is safer. but if I had a paper check I would be getting it back it would just take a lot longer. with direct deposit I'm not getting it back it all. it seems to me that paper is safer because there's a trail and the check has to be endorsed. with a direct deposit there is no check..... if anyone else is having any problems like this please comment. MY name is Patrick thank you for reading maybe some one can help...
  • by Patrick Location: port saint Lucie, Florida on Dec 6, 2011 at 11:31 AM
    my social security direct deposit, was some how routed to ge money bank. this was my payment for october. somebody changed my banking and routing information. I did not get my money back. social security said I had to take it up with the bank. every time I call ge money bank, they transfer me to their fraud department and I get hung up on. I have no idea what to do to get my money back. I really believe that this has something to do with, Go Direct. Go direct is an initiative to get everybody on direct deposit who gets their money from the department of treasury by 2013..... please somebody help, maybe a class action lawsuit against ge money bank. maybe another call to action is warranted here. Go direct is saying direct deposit is safer. but if I had a paper check I would be getting it back it would just take a lot longer. with direct deposit I'm not getting it back it all. it seems to me that paper is safer because there's a trail and the check has to be endorsed. with a direct deposit there is no check..... if anyone else is having any problems like this please comment. MY name is Patrick thank you for reading maybe some one can help...
  • by Joan Location: PA on Nov 20, 2011 at 04:22 AM
    It appears SSA offices are being notified electronically of these GE Money Bank card requests, not thru SSA's online website, without any confirmation with the SSA beneficiary to confirm they want their direct deposit bank account changed. These payments cannot be replaced once they have been stolen. SSA employees can only request a trace of where the payment went. To stop this scam, SSA needs to stop making these bank account changes without first having direct contact with the beneficiary to confirm their request for a change in direct deposit.
  • by Don Location: Laughlin on Nov 9, 2011 at 09:52 PM
    You might be interested in knowing that the direct deposit account can be changed through the online SSA website. A specific account is accessed with a social security number and a password. That password is a seven digit number, and is very likely the telephone number or date of birth or manipulated house number of the person who owns the account, and therefore very 'hackable'. My own password was a manipulation of my date of birth... which I just got through changing to a much more secure password as a result of your report. It might also be worth mentioning that everyone should check that their direct deposit actually reaches the bank on the specific day that it is scheduled. The online bank website will show the deposit in the bank account on a particular day but not the same date of the month... for instance, for me it is the 4th Wednesday of every month. Just a thought, Don
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