Private information in Social Security letter sent to wrong pers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Private information in Social Security letter sent to wrong person

Smith's letter contained personal financial information for two other Grand Strand families. Smith's letter contained personal financial information for two other Grand Strand families.
"I showed it to my friend," said Smith. "She said, ‘The first page of this is for you, the second is for someone else. The third is also for someone else'." "I showed it to my friend," said Smith. "She said, ‘The first page of this is for you, the second is for someone else. The third is also for someone else'."

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – A Grand Strand man thought a letter from the Social Security Administration about his benefits was the answer to a prayer, but when he received information meant for someone else, it turned into a major headache.

"I saw the first page, well yeah, saw the second page, thought something wasn't right, third page, I looked more carefully and noticed names, telephone numbers, social security numbers of other people," revealed letter recipient Steven Smith.

"I showed it to my friend," said Smith. "She said, ‘The first page of this is for you, the second is for someone else. The third is also for someone else'."

Smith's letter contained personal financial information for two other Grand Strand families. He tried to contact the SSA, but had trouble getting an answer.

"I am just so upset over what went on," Smith admits. "It was like everyone was covering each other's derriere."

Smith was able to track down one of the two families and alert them to the issue. When Diane Gillespie first received Smith's phone call, she thought it was a scam.

"It didn't sound real," Gillespie said. "You do get prank calls. But then I got overwhelmed thinking, ‘Dear God, this is an honest man'."

Smith says the Social Security Administration is working with him now to sort out the situation with the letter as well as his benefits. But Gillespie says there are still too many questions left unanswered.

"I'm concerned with Mr. Smith and where his documents went," she said.

Smith says there is a silver lining to what has been a stressful situation. In working with the Social Security Administration to sort out the problem, he received word he would in fact receive his disability benefits.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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