Social Security – Keep It Secure

By Tiffany Williams, Managing Executive, FineMark National Bank & Trust office at Shell Point Retirement Community

Pursuant to a new Federal regulation, as of March 1, 2013, the Treasury required almost all beneficiaries to receive payments through direct deposit.  Paper checks are still available to some beneficiaries under limited circumstances.

It has come to FineMark’s attention that individuals are fraudulently redirecting social security payments.  These unauthorized direct deposit changes are affecting seniors all over the country and it is happening in Southwest Florida.  Please take action if you receive a letter from Social Security Administration stating a change has been made to your account.  If you have any concerns that your Social Security number may have been compromised, you should contact your local Social Security office. It is also a good idea to contact the credit bureaus about possible identity theft and have alerts placed on your file.

Your most important personal identifier is your Social Security number.  To ensure it is safeguarded and to prevent identity theft, never give your social security number or bank account number to an unknown individual over the phone or via email.  The growing incidence of fraudulent changes to Social Security beneficiary accounts is a serious issue facing the Social Security Administration.  For more information and updates on the progress the Office of the Inspector General is making, visit

FineMark National Bank & Trust has an office on The Island at Shell Point Retirement Community. If you have questions about this article, contact us by phone at (239) 461-5999.