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Old 09-15-2019, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,663 posts, read 44,722,966 times
Reputation: 15397

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I've had queries based on Experian information showing I owned a vehicle on which I had LENT money and was a secured creditor. Vehicle was titled in an entirely different name. I recognized immediately somehow I now appeared as the owner of this vehicle, so answered 'yes'.

The only place Experian could have could have obtained this info was the DMV when title was issued showing name of actual owner, and me as a lienholder. This internet age is nuts and creates vulnerabilities where none ever existed before.

A hacker can clean out your bank and investment accounts so easily these days. My sister suffered a major stroke ten weeks ago. I needed to get some idea of her financial status, but had no authority until I got guardianship papers which would take months. Because I had her SSN and birthdate, I was easily allowed over the phone to apply for a new telephone pin, which I a week later I used to access account and balance activity. And, because I knew her bank account info, I authorized payments of her homeowners and utility bills directly from her account. Had I wanted, I could have paid my own bills with her account number.

It's just nuts - and very dangerous. I've often considered telling my bank and retirement account holders to never authorize ACH payments/transfers or allow any online access/authorizations whatsoever. Except the convenience for now overrides what is a very serious concern.

We never worried about this stuff years ago. All hackers need today is your SSN, birthdate, and sometimes driver's license number - and they can do anything.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:01 PM
 
972 posts, read 266,518 times
Reputation: 2582
Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
Thanks, but that wouldn't change anything. Both the online folks and the local office completely acknowledge and express regret that we can't set up an account, they just don't have any way to bypass their security. The problem is not in their willingness to help, it's that their system is set up to keep out anyone who doesn't have any credit history, even if they've reported income and paid into SS for decades. Welcome to the Brave New World!
This is absolutely unbelievable and unacceptable- the taxpayer is falling through the system’s cracks just because he chose not to use the commercial services of private companies? Wow, just wow!
If your goal is a disability- maybe you could get a lawyer to handle everything?
Technically, do you even need to set up SS online account?
Just get your son to execute a durable power of attorney with the specific wording allowing you to handle all his affairs and apply for a disability for him right at the SS office?
Sorry, for your heartache- and wishing a speedy recovery to your son!
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:17 PM
 
9,780 posts, read 16,134,373 times
Reputation: 16385
Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitmom View Post
We've been trying for several weeks to help our 38 y.o. son set up his account; have talked hours on end with SS & have visited the local office, carrying multiple forms of documents including his state-issued id & his birth certificate. He has 20+ years of credits, which they've confirmed.

But they tell us that because he has zero credit activity (he's reported income, paid taxes, but has otherwise lived off the grid and chosen to never have a credit card or take out a loan) it's impossible for them to verify his identity & let him set up his account. The local office said "It's like he's a ghost to us".
We've given it a rest for now but will eventually take up the battle again.
We were told that since we tried more than 3 times, he was locked out & we will have to go to the local office yet one more time, show our documentation, obtain a verification code, then go home & use the verification code to get online & set him up.

(background: he was in an accident that resulted in severe injuries which left him hospitalized for 5 weeks & will take months to recover from. taking him into the local office even once took massive effort & energy; it will be awhile before he's up to making another try.)
I'm sorry to hear about your son. Perhaps you could get some sort of power of attorney and go to SSA for him to spare him another trip? God Bless
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,270 posts, read 8,817,258 times
Reputation: 6543
Smile See below

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
My brother and I were at my computer today, trying to sign him up for a My Social Security Account. When we reached the identification verification step early on, it asked questions that had nothing to do with him. It asked about his mortgage and car payment, neither of which he has or has ever had. I forget what the other questions were, but all were irrelevant to him. Of course, because his ID could not be verified, we could not continue on to actually create the My Social Security Account. It said we could try again in 24 hours.


Which credit bureau does Social Security use to verify ID? I have read Experian in some places, and Equifax in other places. My brother has NOT frozen his credit reports, so that is not the issue.


I did see some other people complaining about a similar problem on a Social Security blog site. The complaints were like his: people were getting asked irrelevant questions and when they picked "none of the above" for those questions, they got locked out of the system. Has this happened to anyone else? I have a feeling he is going to have to go to SS in person or call them. We'll try again tomorrow. I thought we might pull his credit report first, to make sure it matches his information.


Thanks for any help anyone can give!
Lori:
Have you brother get a copy of his Equifax report. His file is probably mixed with someone else.
(I have a credit background).

Also, if his credit is frozen, signing up will not work.

Some of the questions are trick questions. None of the above is an acceptable answer.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:11 PM
 
3,475 posts, read 2,437,384 times
Reputation: 7044
Quote:
Originally Posted by numsgal View Post
LoriNJ, can your brother open a credit card and just autopay something like his electric bill on it each month? That would help him out in this type of a situation. I know he's against credit, but something fairly small may offer him a big return here.

I think you mixed me up with biscuitmom. My brother has a credit report with things he has actually borrowed. It just seems to be all mixed-up with someone else's credit information, too.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:13 PM
 
3,475 posts, read 2,437,384 times
Reputation: 7044
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
Lori:
Have you brother get a copy of his Equifax report. His file is probably mixed with someone else.
(I have a credit background).

Also, if his credit is frozen, signing up will not work.

Some of the questions are trick questions. None of the above is an acceptable answer.

We tried to get his Equifax report, got the same kinds of crazy questions that had nothing to do with him, and got a screen that said he has to send proof of ID and request the report in writing. Not too thrilled to send a copy of his driver's license or other ID, but there seems to be no other way to get the report to find out what is actually on it.


His credit was not frozen.


We expected some trick questions; I have seen that myself in the past where "none of the above" was the correct answer. But in 2 tries with SS and 1 try with Equifax, not a single question pertained to him or any of his credit items. Bizarre.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:16 PM
 
3,475 posts, read 2,437,384 times
Reputation: 7044
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Those questions are standard from any of the big credit reporting agencies and others seeking to verify identity. System knows (or should) what is what, but like all multiple choice questions obvious incorrect answers are mixed in with correct. That is what "none of the above" response is there for; if you don't have a mortgage or car payment (and again system knows this as well), you give that response. OTOH if you answer yes and system has something different, it may trigger another reaction.

Questions from these queries are based upon compiled information from various sources (credit report, history with company/agency, public information, etc....) . This is one reason why people should look at their credit reports annually (it's free) to see if everything is accurate.

If system asks "Which one of these banks to you have a car loan from....." when both it and you know no such thing exists, then answer "None Of The Above" which is again the correct answer.

These questions are also designed to be answered by a human, not a bot or some other artificial intelligence seeking to gain access. Again just as with multiple choice exams nature of these queries forces respondent to think.

As I already explained, in 3 tries (2 SS and 1 Equifax) EVERY question was "none of the above" and when that choice was picked, SS kicked us out of the system and Equifax said we have to request the report in writing. So something weird is going on. My assumption is someone else's credit information is on his report. Why? We don't know and won't know until we get that report. Very frustrating.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:11 PM
 
10,853 posts, read 8,231,936 times
Reputation: 17226
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik4me View Post
If your goal is a disability- maybe you could get a lawyer to handle everything?
Technically, do you even need to set up SS online account?
Just get your son to execute a durable power of attorney with the specific wording allowing you to handle all his affairs and apply for a disability for him right at the SS office?
No, our goal is not to apply for disability; it was to access his earnings record to expedite other matters. We have a competent lawyer, every sort of power of attorney imaginable, which ~sigh~ is still not enough to work around the online SS security. They don't recognize any of those. We've long since found other ways to establish his earnings record but will continue to try to set up his online SS acct (just because DH likes a challenge).

My only intent was to reinforce the OP's point that the SS online verification procedure is too onerous. If DH & I, with all his patience & expertise & persistence, can't do it, then average Joe doesn't have a prayer. It shouldn't be that hard, there's no reason anyone should be blocked out of setting up an online SS acct just because they've never applied for credit.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:48 PM
 
26,570 posts, read 33,603,740 times
Reputation: 33414
The SSA uses Experian to generate those questions that you are asked. I would suggest signing up with them and see if they can help.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:08 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,365 posts, read 8,675,188 times
Reputation: 7453
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
The SSA uses Experian to generate those questions that you are asked. I would suggest signing up with them and see if they can help.
According to SSA at https://www.ssa.gov/hlp/mySSA/df-idverification.html they use Equifax, not Experian.

"Equifax is the Identity Services Provider that provides identity verification services to the Social Security Administration. For more information, please visit www.Equifax.com"
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