Social Security Board notice hoax
This hoax is a recreated Social Security Board notice with altered text. The hoaxer took the text of a real 1937 Social Security Board notice, changed the message, and circled certain areas. The earliest instance of this hoax I could find online was posted on 2019-08-19 by Twitter user BeinLibertarian, the account used by the Web site Being Libertarian.
The hoax appears to have been created to promote an anti-Social Security agenda by insinuating that Congress might never pay back Social Security deductions.
You can identify the false document because the creator didn't match the typefaces correctly in several areas, doesn't recreate the bottom layout correctly, and introduced multiple grammatical errors.
Here is the text of the original document:
NOTICE Deductions from Pay Start Jan. I Beginning January 1, 1937, your employer will be compelled by law to deduct a certain amount from your wages every payday. This is in compliance with the terms of the Social Security Act signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, August 14, 1935. The deduction begins with 1%, and increases until it reaches 3%. To the amount taken from your wages, your employer is required to pay, in addition, either an equal or double amount. The combined taxes may total 9% of the whole payroll. This is NOT a voluntary plan. Your employer MUST make this deduction. Regulations are published by SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. [Official Seal]
Here is the text of the fake with the differences in red:
NOTICE Deductions from Pay Start Jan. 1 Beginning January 1, 1937, your employer will be compelled by law to deduct a certain amount from your wages every payday. This is in compliance with the terms of the Social Security Act, sponsored and signed by President Roosevelt, August 14, 1935. The deduction begins with 1%, and increases until it reaches 3%. There is no guarantee that the fund the collected will ever be returned to you. What happens to the money is up to each congress. No benefits of any kind before 1942. This is NOT a voluntary plan. Your employer MUST make this deduction. Regulations are published by the Social Security Board, Washington, D.C.
In addition to the textual changes, the fake document has several other noticeable differences:
- It uses a different typeface for the "Deductions from Pay Start Jan. I" line, and the fake doesn't use a Roman numeral.
- The body text uses a larger point size so the words wrap to the next line earlier than in the original. This also throws off the spacing between the words for the justifed alignment.
- It uses the wrong typeface for the percent signs in the middle of the document.
- The layout of the bottom of the document does not match the original.
- It doesn't recreate the Social Security Board seal.
The are variations of the original document which place the Social Security Board seal different places at the bottom of the notice.