Frauds & Scams

National Data Privacy Day

January 28, 2019 • By

Reading Time: 1 Minute

Last Updated: November 3, 2023

"  "Far too often, the news alerts consumers about potential data breaches and concerns over the privacy of their personal data. In 2018, several major breaches affected millions. Questions and concerns about data and privacy are on the rise.

To highlight the importance of data privacy, Congress decreed January 28 as National Data Privacy Day. This day is an annual observance dedicated to increasing awareness about data privacy, the importance of individual privacy rights, and the need to protect personally identifiable information (PII) from improper use and disclosure.

Social Security collects and maintains some of the public’s most sensitive PII. We respect the privacy of individuals, safeguard their PII, and maintain the public’s trust in performing these responsibilities – not just on National Data Privacy Day, but every day.

Whether through new online services on the secure my Social Security portal that allow you to review your benefits online, or ensuring information contained in existing paper files are protected, we are constantly reviewing and improving our procedures and policies to ensure protecting PII remains a top priority for our agency.

To learn more about Social Security’s privacy program, please visit our Office of Privacy and Disclosure’s webpage. You can also review some practical tips for being privacy smart on the National Data Privacy Day website.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. TOM L.


  2. Kevin S.

    I’m have been pending SSD a little over 4 years now after a total of 15 surgeries altogether. I have followed up on anything/everything SSD has asked of me, have had medical professionals like my previous pain doctor refer me to the specialist that truly have the state of the art equipment/software and/or Doctors and expertis to truly and accurately provide the SSDA or the division that reviews the Residual Functionality questionnaires that SSD review boards wants most orthopedics, PCP’s, and/or most any healthcare providers to complete but most providers advised me that they could/would not complete the questionnaire because their practice didn’t have the equipment, technology, or means to complete the questionnaire accurately, due to not having the software, technology, and the education or equipment, professional staff one needs to accurately and correctly provide the percentages, limitations, range of motion information, impairment ratings, accurately based of a Function Capacity Evaluation., “FCE”. I was deemed crippled/disabled after my pain doctor referred me to a provider that specializes in performing this very fast paced rigorous exercises consisting of a multitude of exercises that takes 3-hours. My pain doctor could finally complete the Residual Capacity Function questionnaire based on the facts/results on a professional scale knowing the facts that I’m sure the State would appreciate verses a doctor that has a opinionated guess based on their opinion and not the sciencetific facts based on the grueling testing. My SSD hearing lasted not even 5 minutes and I wasn’t able to speak, nor did my my attorney say a word. I wasn’t prepped and didn’t know that I could even talk. I’m broken mentally and physically and have lost everything. Help? Please lord, this is my life I’m fighting for, my attorney did nothing and I am at a loss? I have filed everything I thought I could because I cannot get my para-legal/attorney to return my many call, emails, vm’s for I’m attempting to get clarifications, answers,

  3. Tammy L.

    I have seem to lock myself out of my account and cannot figure out how to get in can you help me? I did not mean to do that it was an accident and I would like to be able to get back on to my account to check my social security disability thank you

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Tammy. If you are unable to access an account or encounter a problem with your personal my Social Security account, you may:
      •Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  4. Janice T.

    I, received a call this morning, 2/26/2019, from a 707 number. I called it back and the caller requested my ss#. They said someone was using my account and they (ss) showed I was dead.
    I asked them to send me a letter regarding the problem.
    How can I check my account?

  5. Jan T.

    I, Janice Turney, received a call this morning, 2/26/2019, from a 707 number. I called it back and the caller requested my ss#. They said someone was using my account and they (ss) showed I was dead.
    I asked them to send me a letter regarding the problem. They said they would but needed my ss# to do that. I refused and they hung up. How can I check my account to make sure all is well?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jan. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can find additional information here. Thanks, again.

  6. Wendy T.

    I received a voicemail from Officer Ryan Smith saying he’s from the department of social security. He’s saying there is a legal enforcement pacton (not sure what that is?) filed on my SSN for criminal activities and to call him as soon as possible. The call came from Athens, TX. Is this for real?

  7. Michael G.

    I’ve given my social security number to an educational institution. But now they want a copy of my card. Am I required to give them a copy of my card?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Michael: If someone asks for your number and/or card, you should ask why, how it will be used, and what will happen if you refuse. The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours. Make sure you give your employer and your financial institution(s) your correct Social Security number, so your records and tax information are accurate.

      See our publication “Your Social Security Number and Card” for more details.

  8. azure

    “and the need to protect personally identifiable information (PII) from improper use and disclosure.”

    Maybe it’s time state & federal gov’ts HELPED individuals to protect their data by passing AND appropriating funds to ENFORCE data privacy laws. The state & feds could begin by passing laws mandating that only those businesses that need to issue 1099s, etc., can even ASK for SSN#s and NO MORE using the last 4 digits of a SSN# as an identifier. That might help.

    I’ve had a medical clinic employee tell me I wouldn’t be able to see the provider I had an appointment with if I didn’t provide my SSN#. The only reason health care providers need a SSN# is for debt collection.

    And most of the data breaches are by health care providers. Yet there is no private cause of action so that individuals can get compensation for the damages they suffer, just a few puny state laws (and the states usually waive at least part of the fine if the provider promises not to do it again! After allowing the provider to do its OWN investigation of its OWN data security practices–how surprising it always is to hear that the provider has a great protection system in place this was just a one off error), and the underfunded understaffed, years of complaint backlogs OCR at the federal level.

    Unless it’s a major data breach in which case there may be a class action, which again, yields little to nothing for class participants. For a health insurer whose crappy security has made it possible for thousands (or tens of thousands) people’s identifying data to be hacked, their “restitution”? A year, just a year’s subscription to a service that doesn’t even check the big 3 credit reporting corporations. Just one of them. WOW, such GREAT restitution.
    Non-wealthy individuals can’t negotiate w/anything like an equal balance of power with the increasingly large corporations that demand identifying data from hundreds of thousands of people or collects it without their permission or paying royalties. For the time being, state and the federal gov’t i.e,. Congress, the chief executive branch, CAN. But they’re not, neither of them. Too deep in the pockets of the corporations already, I guess.

    So this is one stupid blog post from SSA.

  9. Shirley

    I’ve been a victim of identity theft as well as my minor child. It just seems to never stop, I thought they steal your info and then get out of Dodge but not in my case. My credit score is at an all time low due to all the inquiries they do I just recently received a toll ticket from Florida Dept of Trans and I was driving a 18 wheeler, I don’t even have a CDL lisence. Would a new ss number solve this problem?


    Thanks for letting us know about the latest data breach. I hope this breach has been contained. What really causes ;data breaches’? Is it not possible to permanently do something to stop them? Scammers have their days so also data breaches, when are we going to be free of these attacks? Another attack that are not being addressed concerns official frauds and insentivities of many governments agencies’ officials. Recently I commented on SCAMMERS and I made myself an example of someone that had been scammed by Social Security officials, within 1 (one) second of posting the comment, somebody removed it from my computer and I couldn’t save it. I believe that this fraudulent action was made by someone who believed that his/her mischievous activities are being exposed. How can we stop frauds if the people are ganged up in this way. Somebody or a group of officials forcing forcing their way into your computer and just taking away anything which they consider offensive to them had definitely committed a much greater offense than scammers.
    Thanks, and I hope this comment will not be taken away too as had happened to many others in the past instead of solving the problems being complained of.

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