Retirement Income Toolbox

November 15, 2018


The following information is a summary from an article written by Mary Beth Franklin that appeared in the Oct 15, 2018 Investment News magazine.


Is That Social Security message a scam?


Hint: Ignore official-sounding phone calls, pay attention to emails.


We have more than likely all received emails from the Social Security Administration reminding us to review our estimated benefits statement online. Some of you might be concerned about the legitimacy of these emails.


“Does Social Security send out these types of emails, or is it a scam?” Someone recently asked the author.


Coincidently, I received a similar email recently reminding me to review my online statement to ensure that my earnings record is correct and to see my latest benefits estimate.


We can all breathe easier. The Social Security email is valid, and it’s an excellent idea to review your benefits statement at least once a year. If your earnings record is wrong, it could affect your future benefits.


But the Federal Trade Commission recently issued a warning to ignore phone callers who tell you your Social Security number has been suspended due to fraudulent activity and then ask you for your personal information to reactivate your account. It’s a scam. Your Social Security number is never suspended.


To review your estimated benefits statement, log on to the Social Security website and sign on to your account. Warning: Passwords expire every six months, so you may need to reset it. You also must have a second method to verify your identity-either a cell phone or an email address-where you can receive a security code to authenticate your account.


I would like to add to the above information the suggestion of never using a link in an email to access the Social Security website. Go direct to your browser and type in the address just to be sure (



The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.