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October, 2007

Senior News from October, 2007

Direct Deposit: One Simple Step Can Safeguard Social Security Payments
Each month, millions of Americans receive Social Security and other federal benefit payments by paper check. This may include senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and others. What many people may not realize is that checks can be lost, stolen, or forged. Direct deposit eliminates the risk of forged checks and helps safeguard against identity theft.

Throughout National Crime Prevention Month this October, the National Crime Prevention Council will be working with Go Direct, a national campaign sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Banks, to encourage senior citizens, people with disabilities, and others who receive federal benefits to switch from paper checks to direct deposit. 

Signing up for direct deposit is free, quick and easy, and can help protect people from identity theft. Individuals can sign up by calling the Go Direct helpline at 800-333-1795, by going to www.GoDirect.org, or by visiting their local bank or credit union.

The facts are clear: using direct deposit is safer, easier, and more convenient than paper checks. According to  the U.S. Treasury

  • About 57,000 Treasury checks issued in 2006 were forged, totaling more than $54 million in estimated value.
  • When there’s a problem with a Social Security payment, nine times out of ten it’s with a paper check, not a direct deposit payment.

With direct deposit, the recipient’s money goes straight into their account on payment day, giving them more control over their money—and their time.

For more information or to order free consumer-friendly materials, contact the Go Direct campaign at [email protected] or 952-346-6055.

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