SOCIAL Security System (SSS) President and CEO Michael Regino has urged state pension fund members, retirees and employers to secure their login credentials on the My.SSS portal and other personal information to protect their accounts from fraudulent transactions.
Regino issued the recall following several complaints from SSS members that their accounts with My.SSS were subject to fraudulent transactions perpetrated by scammers and other unscrupulous people.
One of the reasons such fraudulent transactions occur, SSS insiders noted, was the tendency of some members to share their login credentials with unauthorized individuals. These login details, Regino noted, should be kept confidential by account holders to protect themselves from scammers.
Regino compared SSS login credentials to the personal identification number (PIN) that bank depositors use to access their accounts at automated teller machines (ATMs).
An ATM Card PIN is a multi-digit number required at ATMs to conduct transactions and is initially provided by banks. This PIN code can be reset or replaced by a new PIN code by the cardholder but is kept as strictly confidential information by the user.
“We have instructed our stakeholders not to share their usernames, passwords and other login information on their My.SSS accounts with unauthorized persons. Provide your username and password to another person is tantamount to sharing your ATM PIN,” Regino said, adding that “anyone with this information could use your My.SSS account for monetary benefits without your permission.”
The head of SSS cited an instance in which a member sought help from another person while trying to create and access their My.SSS account on the internet. It turned out that the person the SSS member turned to for help was a repairman and a scammer who then withdrew a payday loan from the account without his knowledge.
Regino also advised members not to entertain unofficial online groups on various platforms, such as Facebook, which allegedly provide easier access to SSS online accounts and provide technical assistance for a fee to loan seekers.
“We do not recognize these unofficial online groups, even those found on Facebook. We consider them illegal and they cannot facilitate SSS transactions on behalf of our members,” Regino said.
He added that online transactions and services offered by SSS portals are free except when a member requests replacement of the Unified Multipurpose Identity Card (UMID), which incurs a nominal fee.
Regino said members can visit the e-center at local branches and they will be assisted by SSS employees in their online transactions. “All our branches have an E-center containing several computers connected to the Internet. We have employees there who are ready to help our members create and access their My.SSS account as well as guide them in the navigation and the use of the online portal for their operations.”
Regino said SSS management also regularly updates its online facilities, such as the My.SSS portal and the SSS mobile app, to better serve its members. In 2021, the mobile app was redesigned to make it more user-friendly and easier for members to navigate and transact online through mobile phone facilities.
He also reminded members, retirees and employers that they cannot be held responsible for fraudulent transactions once a member colludes with a smuggler.
Under Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services Act of 2018, and Republic Act 11199, or the Social Security Act of 2018, it is illegal for members to use the services of repairers.
SSS works closely with law enforcement to combat illegal repairer activity. “We are determined to press charges against those who take advantage of our members and our employers,” Regino concluded.
They can report such repairers or scammers to the Special Investigations Department (SID) by emailing [email protected] or (02) 8924-7370. (PR)