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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 you, or a loved one. What many people may not realize is that checks can be lost, stolen or fraudulently endorsed. Direct deposit eliminates the risk of forged signatures and helps safeguard against identity theft.

Through the Bank on LA campaign, CFRC (Community Financial Resource Center) will be working with Go Direct, a national campaign sponsored by Treasury and Federal Reserve Banks, to encourage senior citizens, people with disabilities and others who receive federal benefits to switch to direct deposit.

Signing up for direct deposit is free, quick and easy – and can help protect you from identity theft. You can sign up by calling the Go Direct helpline at (800) 333-1795, going to, or visiting your local bank or credit union.

The facts are clear – using direct deposit is safer, easier and more convenient than paper checks. According to information from Treasury:

  1. Nearly 60,000 Treasury-issued checks issued in fiscal year 2007 were fraudulently endorsed, totaling $56 million in estimated value.

  2. When there’s a problem with a Social Security payment, nine times out of 10 it’s with a paper check, not a direct deposit payment.

With direct deposit, your money goes straight to your account on payment day, allowing you more control over your money – and your time. It’s a perfect way to introduce those, who don’t have bank accounts, to alternative ways in holding and maintaining their money.

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