News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 7, 2014

SOCIAL SECURITY: Fathers, friends, men’s health and Social Security

Brian Hewitt
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — This year, we observe National Men’s Health Week from June 9 to 15. Each year, the observance is the week before Father’s Day, focusing on awareness, prevention, education and family.

And today is Best Friends Day, so if your dad happens to be your best friend too, all the more reason to celebrate.

Social Security encourages you to support fathers and friends everywhere in their efforts to stay healthy. The right balance of diet, exercise, regular visits to doctors and health care providers, and overall healthful living can go a long way to help everyone remain a part of your life for years to come.

Avoiding stress helps folks stay healthy. That’s why we’d like to suggest that you advise the men in your life (and everyone for that matter) to avoid scams and phishers. Fathers and best friends may like to go fishing, but make sure they aren’t the catch of the day when a criminal offers alluring bait.

For example, Social Security will not call or email you for your personal information, such as your Social Security number or banking information.

If someone claiming to be from Social Security contacts you and asks for this information, do not give out your personal information without calling us to verify the validity of the request. The caller may be an identity thief phishing for your personal information. Just call the local Social Security office or Social Security’s toll-free number at 800-772-1213.

If you receive a suspicious call, please report it to our Fraud Hotline. You also can report such calls online at oig.ssa.gov/report or by telephone at 800-269-0271 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. If possible, please include the following details:

• The alleged suspect(s) and victim(s) names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, if known;

• Description of the fraud and the location where the fraud took place;

• When and how the fraud was committed;

• Why the person committed the fraud (if known); and

• Who else has knowledge of the potential violation.

Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of an identity thief, the place to contact is the Federal Trade Commission at www.idtheft.gov, or call 877-IDTHEFT.

Whether you go fishing, play some ball or take a hike, we encourage you to enjoy some healthy time with your father and with your best friend. But make sure no one falls victim to the wrong kind of phishing. Learn more by reading our publication, Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs.

Brian L. Hewitt is district manager of the Social Security Administration office at 222 Cherry St. in Terre Haute.