Gerald Wiedemann was injured in a work-related accident, and has left this feet with nerve damage as a result. When he received his packet from the Social Security Administration, he noticed he has received 16 pages of someone else’s Sensitive information, including a Social Security number.
“I opened the package up, and I found out that it’s got a little notation here saying, ‘Returning your documents to you, thank you S.S.A.” Well, when I turn the paperwork over to look at it, it’s not even my paperwork,” said Wiedemann. “It has his name, his address, his ID number, it’s got his work information down here…his pay stubs,” he said.
Wiedemann promptly called the Social Security office. “He told me to go ahead and shred the papers up.” Several hours later, the office called him back with different instructions. “He told me, ‘Thank you for not shredding it. We really need those papers back,'” Wiedemann said. Luckily, it wasn’t too late and he was able to return the mishandled paperwork.
Wiedemann says the names are not even alphabetically close, nor are the social security numbers. Now he worries about his own information being mixed up, as he believes the other man’s identity could have been stolen so easily this way. “How many other credits are out there that’s being ruined because of stupid mistakes like this by the government,” he stated.
The Social Security press office in Washington gave no response.
Have you ever had this happen to you? What do you do to make sure your identity stays safe?