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Warning that your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity……

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, we have mentioned this in the past but it bears repeating, for scammers, your Social Security number is a gold-plated and diamond-encrusted asset, and now they have a new way to try to steal yours and get paid.

Consumer advocates are raising an alarms about a twist to an old impostor phone scam. It’s called the “Social Security impostor scam.” A blog at the Federal Trade Commission recently wrote: “In the shady world of government, the SSA scam may be the new IRS scam.”

Continue reading Warning that your Social Security number has been suspended because of suspicious activity……
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New Milford Police Department Reports Social Security Scam Warning

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

New Milford NJ, the New Milford Police Department is reporting a Scam Alert: The New Milford Police has been receiving numerous reports of residents being called by someone from the social security administration advising that their social security number has been used to rent a vehicle and that vehicle was used in a crime. The caller will then ask the victim to confirm their social security number or request that they send them money via pre-paid gift cards or other unconventional payments. This is a scam. Please be attentive to these types of calls and do not provide any personal information. The New Milford Police are always available to handle any questions or concerns.

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Social Security Scam Alert Fraudsters Are spoofing Agency’s 1-800 number


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington DC, The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is urging citizens to remain vigilant of telephone impersonation schemes that exploit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) reputation and authority.  

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) continues to receive reports from across the country about fraudulent phone calls from people claiming to be from SSA.  Recent reports have indicated that unknown callers are using increasingly threatening language in these calls. 

The callers state, due to improper or illegal activity with a citizen’s Social Security number (SSN) or account, a citizen will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number to address the issue.  This is a scam; citizens should not engage with these calls or provide any personal information.  

SSA employees do contact citizens, generally those who have ongoing business with SSA, by telephone for customer-service purposes.  However, SSA employees will never threaten you for information; they will not state that you face potential arrest or other legal action if you fail to provide information. 

In those cases, the call is fraudulent, and you should just hang up.    “Unfortunately, scammers will try anything to mislead and harm innocent people, including scaring them into thinking that something is wrong with their Social Security account and they might be arrested,” Stone said.  “I encourage everyone to remain watchful of these schemes and to alert family members and friends of their prevalence.  We will continue to track these scams and warn citizens, so that they can stay several steps ahead of these thieves.”  

The OIG recently warned that some of these impersonation calls have “spoofed” SSA’s national customer service phone number, displaying 1-800-772-1213 as the incoming number on caller ID.   The Acting Inspector General urges citizens to be extremely cautious, and to avoid providing information such as your SSN or bank account numbers to unknown persons over the phone or internet unless you are certain of who is receiving it.

 If you receive a suspicious call from someone alleging to be from SSA, you should report that information to the OIG at 1-800-269-0271 or online at   For more information, please visit media inquiries, please contact Andrew Cannarsa, OIG’s Communications Director, at (410) 965-2671.

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This is a SCAM, Social Security is not calling asking for info


Glen Rock Police Department – NJ1

rthe staff of the Ridgewood blog

Glen Rock NJ, from the Glen Rock Police department ; We received word that the Hawthorne Police Dept has received many telephone calls at their Police Headquarters reporting that residents are receiving calls from people claiming to be from Social Security, stating there is a problem with thier accounts and they need to contact SS Office, or a Police Officer will call them. This is a SCAM, Social Security is not calling asking for info.

Never provide INFO, please advise friends, family and neighbors especially the elderly as they may be easy target.


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SCAM ALERT: Social Security Number Scam


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Glen Rock NJ, Glen Rock Police have issued a SCAM ALERT:” I just received a phone call on my personal cell where the caller ID indicated it was the Social Security Administration. A recorded voice told me there was a problem with my SSN and I needed to speak with an agent in order to prevent suspension of my benefits. I was transferred to a male with a foreign accent.
These scams are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Please educate yourself, family and friends. Education is the only way to avoid these scams. Be very very wary of any unsolicited calls asking for your personal info. Call the GRPD with any questions if you’re unsure.”

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Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and State Comptroller Philip James Degnan announce initial Lakewood arrests Result on charges of collecting $1.3 million in illegal Government benefits

Lakewood Housewives

June 29, 2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Lakewood NJ, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and State Comptroller Philip James Degnan announced today the first of multiple ongoing arrests within Lakewood, New Jersey by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office for defrauding Medicaid and government assistance programs.  The investigations initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Red Bank Office and the  New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller – Medicaid Fraud Division, were expanded to include the US Social Security Administration, New Jersey Department of the Treasury – Office of Criminal Investigation, and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office – Economic Crimes Unit.  Today’s initial arrests include charges of collecting $1.3 million in illegal benefits.

Prosecutor Coronato stated, “Financial assistance programs are designed to alleviate family hardships for those truly in need.  My office gave clear guidance and notice to the Lakewood community in 2015 of what is considered financial abuse of these programs.  Those who choose to ignore those warnings by seeking to illegally profit on the backs of taxpayers will pay the punitive price of their actions.”

OCPO detectives/prosecutors, along with its collaborating agencies, began the first phase of the operation by arresting two married couples.  Mordechai, 37, and Jocheved, 35, Breskin of Blue Jay Way in Lakewood, were arrested and charged with 2nd Degree Theft by Deception for wrongfully collecting approximately $585,662 in Medicaid, SNAP, HUD and SSI benefits between January 2009 thru December 2014.    Zalmen, 39, and Tzipporah, 35, Sorotzkin of Olive Court collecting approximately $338,642 in Medicaid, SNAP, HUD and SSI benefits between January 2009 and April 2014.  A Detention Hearing is scheduled for 1:30 pm today at Ocean County Superior Court.

The nature of the criminal events investigated and basic charges allege that the defendants misrepresented their income, declaring amounts that were low enough to receive the program’s benefits, when in fact their income was too high to qualify.  The investigations revealed that the defendants’ received income from numerous sources that they failed to disclose on required program applications.  As a result, they received benefits that they were not entitled to under these programs for themselves or family members.

“This operation highlights the success of federal, state and county cooperation in New Jersey’s effort to combat Medicaid and other government benefits fraud,” State Comptroller Degnan said. “My office will continue to ensure that only individuals and families truly in need of benefits receive them, and that those who choose to steal from New Jersey taxpayers are referred for prosecution.”

The Ocean County Prosecutors Office is prosecuting the above arrested individuals at the state level.  The Federal Bureau of Investigations arrested four additional individuals as a part of its’ role in the comprehensive review of financial assistance programs.  Information regarding the FBI facilitated arrests continues below:

Rachel Sorotzkin, 32, and Mordechai Sorotzkin, 35, are charged by complaint with one count of conspiring to steal government funds. Yocheved Nussbaum, 40, and Shimon Nussbaum, 42, also of Lakewood, are charged in a separate complaint with one count of conspiring to steal government funds. The Sorotzkins and the Nussbaums, all of Lakewood, are expected to make their appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert in Trenton federal court.

According to the complaints:

From 2011 through 2014, Rachel and Mordechai Sorotzkin applied for and received Medicaid health insurance benefits for themselves and their children. After being approved for Medicaid benefits in August of 2011, the Sorotzkins received significant windfalls – including a lump sum payment of $1 million from Rachel Sorotzkin’s business in April of 2013 – which they failed to report to Medicaid officials. Despite earning in excess of $1 million in each of the 2012 and 2013 calendar years, the Sorotzkins continued to use their Medicaid cards, ultimately defrauding the government of approximately $96,000 in taxpayer-funded medical care.

In a separate scheme, Yocheved and Shimon Nussbaum applied for and received public benefits for themselves and their children from 2011 through 2014, despite their significant income. In the years prior to and during the conspiracy, the Nussbaums created a variety of companies that were nominally run by relatives but were actually controlled by the Nussbaums.

They opened various bank accounts in the names of these companies and used funds from these accounts to cover personal expenses.

In applying for Medicaid, Section 8 housing, and SNAP food benefits, the Nussbaums grossly underreporting their true income by failing to include the income from these business accounts. Despite annual income of up to as high as approximately $1.8 million in 2013, the Nussbaums continued to receive taxpayer-funded health, housing and food benefits through August of 2014, ultimately defrauding the government of approximately $178,000.

The conspiracy counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick in his press release credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato; the New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller, under the direction of State Comptroller Philip James Degnan; the New Jersey Department of the Treasury – Office of Criminal Investigation; under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charles Giblin; Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John Grasso;  and criminal investigators of the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the investigation leading to today’s arrests.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Molly S. Lorber of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

The investigation by all the participating agencies is continuing and additional arrests are forthcoming.  OCPO and our prosecuting partners may add additional relevant charges (ie. Tax charges) as each case proceeds through the legal process.  Anyone with any information is asked to contact Sergeant Mark Malinowski of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 929-2027.

The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are only allegations and that each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.  See Photos below courtesy the Ocean County Jail:





Ocean County Prosecutors office announced on June  28th that, along with its collaborating agencies, continued Monday’s operation by arresting the following three married couples.  Hearings are scheduled for 1:30 pm today (6/28) at Ocean County Superior Court.

Yitzchock, 33, and Sora, 39, Kanarek of Brisk Lane – charged with 2nd Degree Theft by Deception for wrongfully collecting approximately $339,002.56 in Medicaid, SNAP, HUD, and SSI benefits between January 2009 and July 2014.
Chaim, 40, and Liatt, 39, Ehrman of Twin Oaks Drive – charged with 2nd Degree Theft by Deception for wrongfully collecting approximately $185,692.22 in Medicaid, SNAP, HEAP, and Sandy benefits between January 2011 and December 2015
William, 45, and Faigy, 40, Friedman of Leigh Drive – charged with 2nd Degree Theft by Deception for wrongfully collecting approximately $149,842.28 in Medicaid, SNAP, HEAP, and HUDbenefits between January 2011 and December 2015.

The media and public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Follow the Office of the Ocean County Prosecutor online at Twitter and Facebook.  The social media links provided are for reference only.  The OCPO does not endorse any non-governmental websites, companies or applications.  For additional information visit our website at  Please send all press inquiries to Al Della Fave 732-288-7616 (OFFICE) 732-814-7347 (CELL) and

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Looking for the ‘best place’ to retire? Don’t forget to look at the taxes


Published: May 13, 2017 11:33 a.m. ET

If there’s one financial task that causes many of us to stick our heads in the sand, it’s taxes.

Planning ahead to reduce a tax bill is not most people’s idea of a fun time. But for those on a fixed income, keeping taxes low is one of the key ways to reduce retirement expenses. And for people who plan to relocate when they retire, it’s crucial they understand the tax implications of that move.

For example, if you’re keeping an eye on your retirement expenses, you probably should rethink any plans to move from Nevada—which levies no individual income tax—to New Mexico, which taxes Social Security benefits and, to some degree, income from pensions and retirement accounts, according to an analysis by Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, a research and software company. (Keep in mind that states frequently change their tax laws.)

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4 Ways Marriage, Divorce And Do-Overs Can Increase Your Social Security Check


May 6,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, In a world of IRAs, bonds, annuities and investment property, one retirement benefit often gets overlooked, or not discussed at all, by some financial advisers: Social Security.

“In retirement, you need to create as much fixed, guaranteed income as you can,” says Tony Perrone, president and founder of the Estate Planning Group and author of I Didn’t Know I Could Do That: 9 Financial Strategies That Can Save or Make You Money (  “Social Security is just as valuable as any of your other assets.”

Americans can draw their Social Security as early as 62, for reduced benefits, or as late as 70, for enhanced benefits. When benefits are elected, a retiree makes a permanent choice, meaning benefits are reduced over the course of a lifetime, not just until full retirement age. The social Security break-even age is 77, or 15 years after the first retiree elected to receive benefits.

Perrone says those who are contemplating when to take their Social Security benefits shouldn’t automatically take the largest check they are eligible for and assume they are making the right decision.

“None of us has crystal balls,” Perrone says. “But if you think there’s a good chance you might live longer than average, or if you’re just an optimist, you might want to think about going for the maximum monthly payment. Once it starts, it’s locked in for life.”

Perrone provides some additional tips and strategies for getting the most out of your Social Security benefits:

  • Don’t forget the widow’s benefit. If you are a widowed woman and don’t get remarried, you can file for Social Security at the age of 60. This is known as the widow’s benefit. The rule applies to men as well. If your wife earned more than you, you are entitled to widower’s benefits. When a widow or widower, or a surviving ex-spouse, waits until age 60 or later to re marry, they preserve the right to collect Social Security benefits on their deceased spouse’s earnings record.
  • Divorce can have fringe benefits. Women who were divorced after being married for at least 10 years are eligible for a portion of their ex-husband’s benefits if she is unmarried at the time they become eligible for benefits. That claim does not reduce the ex-husband’s benefits or those of his new spouse if he re-marries.
  • Marriage can be a strategic tool. When a spouse dies, the remaining spouse gets the larger of the two Social Security checks. If the surviving spouse gets remarried, he or she is then subject to that law with the new spouse. In other words, if a widow gets re-married, and her second husband dies, she is eligible for the benefits of her second husband if he made more money than her.
  • You get a do-over. If you decide to take your Social Security benefits, then realize you made a mistake, the Social Security Administration will allow you to repay the money you took within 12 months and wipe the slate clean as if it never happened.

“Follow your own instincts when it comes to when and how to take your Social Security benefits,” Perrone says. “This is an important part of your overall retirement strategy.”

About Tony Perrone

Tony Perrone, author of I Didn’t Know I Could Do That: 9 Financial Strategies That Can Save or Make You Money (, is president and founder of the Estate and Business Planning Group. As a financial professional, his focus is designing income-producing portfolios for retirement. For 16 years, Perrone was host of the popular radio talk show Now You Know on FM 96.5 News Talk WDBO in Orlando, which could be heard from Jacksonville to Tampa to Vero Beach.

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Big changes could be in store for this N.J. property tax relief program


file photo

By Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for
on March 07, 2017 at 11:38 AM, updated March 07, 2017 at 12:25 PM

TRENTON — Seniors and citizens who benefit from New Jersey’s Senior Freeze property tax relief program could receive credits against their real estate bills instead of rebates under a bill in the Legislature.

The Assembly State and Local Government Committee on Monday approved the bill, which would convert the Senior Freeze reimbursements into credits — a change the sponsors said would cut state administrative costs and spare eligible homeowners from having to pay the full bill before receiving a reimbursement check in the following tax year.

The Senior Freeze programs is slated to help offset property tax increases for about 166,000 property owners this fiscal year.

To be eligible for the Senior Freeze program, you must be 65 or older or receiving Social Security benefits and have lived in the state for 10 years. Other requirements, including income limits, apply.

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Financial Planning Association of New Jersey “Know Your Money” Series Talks Taxes


The second installment of a video series asks people about taxes, underscoring the importance of the role a CFP® and other professionals make.

January 19,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  The Financial Planning Association of New Jersey (FPANJ) continues its five-part video series to stress the importance of learning about your money, and how a Certified Financial Planner(TM) can play a role in reaching your financial goals.
After a launch in November covering estate planning, the latest subject is a timely one: Taxes.
The entire series features “man on the street” interviews with people, asking them questions based on topics that are important to know, yet many people can’t answer, even with a cash reward ($1) on the line.  Additional subjects will be released throughout the year and will include

College Planning, Social Security, and Health Care

 “Everyone is impacted by taxes,” said FPANJ President Rob Rafano. “It can be eye-opening for many who watch the video to realize what they don’t know. The purpose is to demonstrate all of the various issues that CFP®s help clients handle, and why not knowing what you don’t know can keep you from building wealth. The good news is that enlisting the help of professionals can help you reduce your tax liability, year in and year out.”
#FPAKnowYourMoney: Taxes
#FPAKnowYourMoney: Taxes

The second installment of the Know Your Money on Taxes can be viewed on the FPANJ’s You Tube Channel. Additional videos can also be found there to help the public get to know FPANJ and learn more about their finances.

“We hope to continue the conversation among consumers on how to get started learning more about their finances, saving and investing more, and leaning on the expertise of financial professionals to get them there,” Rafano said, adding, “we are also relying on our local media to help educate the public, as there is always something happening in the news that these videos relate to.”