Sensitive information, including a Social Security number, was handed off to the wrong person after a mix-up at a government agency.
Gerald Wiedemann has nerve damage in his feet after he was injured in a work-related accident. He spent hours applying for Social Security disability online and finally received a packet from the Social Security Administration.
"I opened the package up, and I found out that it's got a little notation here saying, 'Returning your documents to you, thank you S.S.A." Well, when I turn the paperwork over to look at it, it's not even my paperwork," said Wiedemann.
The paperwork was 16 pages of personal information for a man Wiedemann doesn't know.
"It has his name, his address, his ID number, it's got his work information down here...his pay stubs," he said.
Wiedemann says when he saw he had someone else's information he called the local Social Security office and got a quick answer.
"He told me to go ahead and shred the papers up," Wiedemann said.
But Wiedemann hesitated. Several hours later, the Social Security office called him back.
"He told me, ‘Thank you for not shredding it. We really need those papers back,'" Wiedemann said.
Wiedemann says with all the information on the pages, anyone could steal this man's identity. That has him worried about his own information ending up in the wrong hands.
"How many other credits are out there that's being ruined because of stupid mistakes like this by the government," said Wiedemann.
Wiedemann says his name and the other man's name aren't even close alphabetically: addresses, job history, Social Security numbers -- nothing remotely similar.
The Social Security press office in Washington did not return a request for comment from FOX 5.
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