Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

U.S. Government Using Private Company to Confirm ID, Then You Start Getting Advertisements and Offers

Social Security, the IRS, and other federal agencies now require this onerous process that requires high-tech devices

Ask Rusty – About Difficulty with Social Security's Sign-in Process

Dear Rusty: Last month I tried to contact Social Security who never picked up a phone on their end. The same with the IRS. When I finally got through, they said I had to join before they could help me. That took me over a week, and many applications and rejects, to get through. The last step was holding up my Social Security card and my driver's license on a Zoom call to an representative. I found this very peculiar - why do I have to go through this place to get information from my government agencies? Now I am receiving catalog offers to buy things from online. I think this is very strange and out of line. How do I get unregistered from this place? I am very afraid they will share my information with the world. Is this a government agency and why do we have to register there, only to have offers to buy things? Signed: Frustrated Senior

Dear Frustrated: Many others have shared with us their frustration when seeking enrollment in the federal government's newest credential verification programs so, though I know it's no comfort, you are not alone.

Social Security has, since September 18, 2021, required all newly created online accounts to use either or to authenticate the user's identity. "" is a private company contracted by the government to ensure that you are who you say you are, thus avoiding any fraudulent activities. is the government's own authentication program set up to allow access to multiple government agencies for the same purpose. The intent of both is to give you one set of sign in credentials which can be used to access multiple government agencies, rather than a unique login procedure for each agency. And, most importantly, the purpose is to protect you from any fraudulent activities which could cause you financial harm. Rest assured that your personal information is safe using either of these government-sponsored methods to verify your identity for government business.

Those who have a "my Social Security" account set up before September 2021 can still use their previous SSA-unique identity verification method (a "2-factor ID process") to access their "my Social Security" online account. This method is as secure as the newer methods but is only good for accessing your Social Security account (not the IRS or any other government agency). Nevertheless, creating a new online Social Security account now requires you use the government's current identity verification methods - either or If you select (a private company) you do have control over the type of communication you receive from them and can opt out of receiving any offers for additional services. To do so, it is basically a matter of signing into your account, accessing your Profile, and selecting "Unsubscribe All" in the Preferences section. And in the meantime, you can also select "Unsubscribe" at the bottom of any promotional email you receive from

This article is intended for information purposes only and does not represent legal or financial guidance. It presents the opinions and interpretations of the AMAC Foundation's staff, trained and accredited by the National Social Security Association (NSSA). NSSA and the AMAC Foundation and its staff are not affiliated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other governmental entity. To submit a question, visit our website ( or email us at



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The 2.4 million member Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. AMAC Action is a non-profit, non-partisan organization representing the membership in our nation's capital and in local Congressional Districts throughout the country. And the AMAC Foundation ( is the Association's non-profit organization, dedicated to supporting and educating America's Seniors. Together, we act and speak on the Association members' behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at


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