If you need a new Social Security Card, or some other government document, the easiest thing to do these days is go online and order a replacement. But it’s important to know what website you’re visiting, because you could end up paying for something that you can get for free.
It happened to Barbara Bolden. She gave her personal information to a website she thought was the Social Security Administration.
"I gave them my phone number, address, my zip code, my Social Security number, and everything,” Barbara says.
After losing her Social Security card, she googled Social Security card replacement, and came to govsimplified.com.
But when the site suddenly asked for a credit card number, she realized it wasn't a government agency.
"He told me how much it is going to cost. And I said I'm not paying for a Social Security card!"
GovSimplified.com is not a scam: it is a legitimate South Florida based company that helps consumers with government services. It recently settled a 2015 class action suit accusing it of deceptive practices. And promised to post more disclaimers that it is not an official government website.
On the official Social Security Administration’s website, it says… “Some businesses offer Social Security name changes or cards for a fee. Social Security provides those services and more for free. Do not pay for something we will give you free. Social Security is the best place to get information about Social Security.”
In Michigan, you can apply for a replacement card online if you meet certain criteria.