(WXIX) - Even if you're not near retirement age, experts tell us you should create your social security account online - before a criminal does.
Thirty-four million Americans do their business with the Social Security Administration online and creating an account is easy. Even if you're not ready to retire, you can still log-on at any time and check your benefits.
You'll be asked to put in your name, date of birth and social security number. You'll need to create a username and password, which will have to be changed every six months.
Once you've got the account, Richmond area Financial Planner, Thomas Block, says you can check your future benefits at any time.
"It tells you what your benefits are going to be when you hit full retirement age. You can see your earnings history. You'll be able to see all the history that you'd see on the normal paper statement that you'd get," said Block.
You can also protect your account. If you think it's been compromised, you can put a block access on there - which would stop people from being able to get to your social security information.
Only you, once you validate with the agency, can unblock your account.
If a cyber-criminal knows you are close to your retirement age and you haven't set up your account they could set up one for you, and get access to your benefits.
Contact your local field office immediately if you suspect fraud.
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