How Do I See If Someone Is Using My Social Security Number
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether someone has your Social Security number until they use it. Some companies offer dark web monitoring, which tracks your information across areas of the internet typically reserved for criminal activities. Your information often ends up on the dark web if you are the victim of a data breach.;
However, even if your information appears on a dark web scan, there’s no way to guarantee that someone has your SSN specifically or that they are using it.;
To check to see if someone is using your SSN, consider checking your credit report. You can do this online through AnnualCreditReport.com, the only authorized website for free credit reports. You can also use the Annual Credit Report phone number to request your credit report.;
Once you have your credit report, review it to see if anything is out of the ordinary. Carefully confirm your accounts and open lines of credit to make sure all of the information in these sections is legitimate. If not, someone may be fraudulently using your information.;
Lastly, you may also want to view your Social Security Statement. This document will show whether someone has begun withdrawing against your Social Security account earnings, which is another tell-tale indicator that someone is using your SSN.;
What If Someone Steals My Social Security Number
All of this is of course very interesting, but lets bring it back to the point of this article: what if some bad guy steals, obtains, guesses at, or otherwise gets hold of your Social Security Number? As it happens, all kinds of bad things!
Because you have to have a Social Security Number to get a job in the United States , crooks are very fond of stealing SSNs specifically for the purpose of selling them to people who do not already have permission to work in the United States, so that those people can get a job.
Nothing is wrong with people getting jobs, of course, but if they are using your Social Security Number, it can cause untold confusion and issues with your taxes and your Social Security benefits. You could even LOSE your Social Security benefits and that can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As you can see, it is very important for you to be able to tell whether someone is using your Social Security Number without your permission. In this article, I will show you several methods of detecting whether your Social Security Number has been compromised.
Check Employer Verifications At My E
You can also check for the names of employers who have verified your eligibility to work in the U.S. if they went through the Department of Homeland Security E-Verify system. To do that, go to the myE-Verify webpage. If you see an employer whose name you do not recognize, someone else may be using your number to work in the U.S. The site also has a self-lock feature that lets you place a lock on your SSN.
How Do You Put An Alert On Your Social Security Number
If you want to place a fraud alert on your Social Security number, you simply need to contact one of the three credit reporting agencies. Tell them you want to place a fraud alert on your SSN, and they will notify the other two agencies. Make sure the credit bureau has your latest contact information on file because they will need to contact you if anyone attempts to use your SSN. This service is free of charge, and the alert lasts for one year. You should be aware that your Social Security number cannot be suspended. If you receive a call stating such, you should hang up immediately because it is a scam.
Check Your Credit Report
The Social Security Administration can tell you if someone is working on your SSN and the IRS can tell you if someone is filing taxes on it, but only your credit agencies can tell you if someone is using your SSN to acquire and use credit in your name.
There are three major credit reporting agencies in the United States:;Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. They each have slightly different methodologies and scoring programs, but they all more or less provide the same service.
You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months . By contacting each service and requesting your report, you can immediately spot any suspicious activity on your credit accounts. Look for credit card applications, loan applications, and any debt you dont recognize.
Requesting your reports is simple:
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 transunion.com
is a reputable service, and if you sign up for it you can keep a monthly eye on your credit score and your credit history, making it very difficult for an identity thief to put one over you in the long run.
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Kinds Of Id Theft Using A Social Security Number
With the Equifax breach still fresh in our minds, many of us are wondering if our financeslet alone our identitiesare safe and secure. If youre one of the 145.5 million potential victims of the 2017 Equifax data breach, the hackers may have the so-called skeleton key to your finances and, ultimately, your identity: your one and only Social Security number.
What exactly can a thief do with your Social Security number? The answer isnt pretty, especially if they also have access to other personal data, as the Equifax hackers may.
Whether youve had your Social Security number stolen or are trying to keep it secure, its important to know what criminals can do with it, so you know how to recognize red flags.
One of the identity theft-related crimes most people think of is credit card fraud. However, credit card fraud may be just one of the crimes that can be committed if a criminal assumes your identity with your Social Security number and other personal information.
While stolen credit cards and the like can be cancelled and replaced, it can be difficult to obtain a new Social Security number. The Social Security Administration requires that you prove your identity and provide evidence that someone is misusing your Social Security number and causing you significant continuing harm. In fact, until you sort everything out, the Internal Revenue Service and other government entities may not know if you or the criminal who has stolen your identity is the real you.
What Can I Do To Protect My Social Security Number
There are a few things you can do to keep your personal information and identity safe. Keep all important documents, whether physical copies or digital, private and protected. Any record of your social security number online should be password protected. Take cyber safety steps such as having a good antivirus and malware software installed on your computer to ensure you do not fall victim to hackers.
If you notice suspicious activity, report it immediately to the relevant government agencies. The Social Security Administration and Federal Trade Commission are good places to start. You should also file a police report. Another thing you can do is freeze your credit with major credit bureaus. This stops your credit cards from being accessible to lenders and prevents new accounts from being opened in your name.
If you suspect your social security number has been leaked or compromised, contact the fraud department of the company involved with the breach.
Letters In The Mail From The Irs Or The Bank
For whatever reason, the Internal Revenue Service will never contact you via phone. They will always communicate through the mail, so if you receive a letter from them, then that should be a red flag. Unless you have tax trouble, then communication from the IRS could signal problems. Someone might be using your SSN to illegally obtain tax refunds or perform other fraudulent activity. Letters from your bank could be a sign of similar problems.
Identity Theft Happensidshield Can Protect You And Take Care Of Problems Along The Way
2.2 million cases of fraud were reported by consumers in 2020 alone. Identity theft is upsetting and can hurt you financially for years to come. IDShield offers a comprehensive tool to monitor your presence online and be notified of any unusual activity so you can take action before you become a victim of identity theft. When a problem does occur, our customer service team and private investigators work directly with you to resolve and repair the problem.
We’re here for you, to protect your identity. Here are just a few of the benefits of our comprehensive identity monitoring services and ID theft protection plans:
Know the big picture of your identity status. Monitor your credit, SSN, and accounts all in one place.
Get notified of any changes to your information so you can act quickly to protect yourself.
Notice something strange? Receive an;alert from something you didn’t do? Call us immediately 24/7 – 365 days a year.;
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Your Social Security Card
Whether youve lost your social security card or someone an acquaintance used the number, this is another common way that someone has obtained this information. Keeping your social security card safe, not keeping it in your wallet, and making sure that no one can get to it is another way to protect your identity.
You Put An Account Number Into A Dummy Website
Some phishing emails or fraudulent URLs are created to look so convincingly like your bank’s, it is easy to mistakenly enter your username and password or, if they ask for it, your checking or savings account number. Other websites are made to emulate popular e-commerce or retail websites, tricking you into entering your credit card details.
If you’ve given away any of these numbers, call your bank immediately and describe the error in detail. Your bank should be able to read back any charges have been made fraudulently and connect you to the right department to help freeze or suspend the accounts that may have been comrpomised. You can typically find the fraud department directly by using the fraud services number on the back of your credit card, or on the bank’s website.
If fraudulent charges have been made, you may have to fill out a paper report, and any reimbursement may take time, typically a bit longer for debit cards than for credit cards. Here’s a version of one of these forms, used by Inova Federal Credit Union. A banker may call you to ask follow-up questions.
Stay Vigilant To Help Protect Your Personal Information
If your Social Security number and personal information fall into the wrong hands, it could take you months to undo the damage. Monitoring your credit helps prevent the likelihood of this happening. The sooner you catch fraudulent activity, the easier it can be to reverse.;
However, if you find that someone is using your SSN, it’s possible to remove the activity from your credit file. Filing reports with the proper authorities can help reverse the impact of someone stealing your personal information.
Diligence with your credit is a round-the-clock effort. Tally1 makes it easier for you to keep track of your credit card accounts and manage your monthly payments with a low-interest line of credit.;
1To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Lines of credit issued by Cross River Bank or Tally Technologies, Inc. , as identified in your line of credit agreement. Loans made by Tally pursuant to California FLL license or other state laws.
6The portion of your credit line that can be paid to your cards will be reduced by the amount of the annual fee.
Important Resources For Identity Theft Victims:
Did you know that it is illegal for collection agencies to harass you once you have notified them that the debt is due to Identity Theft? Here are some steps to take if you find yourself in this situation:
- Contact the fraud department of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your file.
- Close the accounts that you know or believe have been tampered with or opened fraudulently. Use the ID Theft Affidavit when disputing new unauthorized accounts.
- File a police report where you live.
- Get a copy of the report or report number.
- Contact any of the other agencies specific to your particular type of Identity Theft.
- File your complaint with FTC.
- Follow up in writing. Attach a police report/number along with any other documentation you may have. Send Certified Mail – Return Receipt Requested.
- Document everything!
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What Should I Do If My Card Is Lost Or Stolen
If your card is lost or stolen you should report this to Social Security Administration immediately. You can request a replacement for free. You can do this up to 3 times in one year or 10 times in your lifetime without a fee.
In order to request a replacement card you would need to complete the application form, SS-5, and present your supporting documentation, ID etc again.
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How To Know If Someone Is Using Your Social Security Number
- Post author
One of the most dangerous forms of identity theft is a stolen SSN. But how do you know if someone is using your Social Security number? Here are a few telltale signs.
Your SSN is the key to your identity. And thats why its so vulnerable: if a hacker gets ahold of it, theyre able to crack open the most secure of accounts and wreak havoc on your life. But how do you know if someone is using your social security number?
As soon as hackers have access to your;SSN, theyll have the ability;to access your bank accounts, open new accounts in your name, open lines of credit and credit cards, obtain your tax return, take our loans, use your health coverage and open utilities and memberships in your name.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows when theyve been a victim of;Social Security number identity theft. To stay safe and protect your privacy , you need to learn how to tell if someone is using your social security number.
Is your personal information in the wrong hands? Use Privacy Bees free Data Breach Checker to find out.
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How Will I Know If Someone Steals My Identity
Read your bills and account statements. Watch for:
- things you did not buy
- withdrawals you did not make
- a change of your address that you did not expect
- bills that stop coming
Look at medical statements. You might see charges you do not recognize. That might mean someone stole your identity.
Get your credit report. You get one free credit report every year from each credit reporting company.;
- Answer questions from a recorded system. You have to give your address, Social Security number, and birth date.
- Choose to only show the last four numbers of your Social Security number. It is safer than showing the full number on your report.
- Choose which credit reporting company you want a report from.
The company mails your report to you. It should arrive two to three weeks after you call.
Read your credit report carefully. Look for mistakes or accounts you do not recognize. This could mean someone stole your identity.
Ask Why They Want It And How It Will Be Handled
If the business insists, ask questions. You have a right to know why its necessary to provide your SSN and how it will be handled. Ask questions such as:
- Why is having my SSN necessary?
- With whom will you share my number if I provide it?
- How will my number be stored?
- Will you cover my liability or losses if my number is stolen or compromised?
Unfortunately, if you are asked to provide your SSN to a business or an institution that doesnt need it, and you say no, it can refuse to provide services to you or put conditions on the servicesuch as requiring a deposit or additional fees.
Signs That Someone May Be Using Your Social Security Number
Unexpected phone calls or strange letters in the mail can all be signs that someone has taken your Social Security number. There are a few common signs that you should be on the lookout for. The first is sudden calls from creditors. If you know that you don’t owe a particular debt or aren’t late on any payments, but you get calls from creditors or collection agencies about unpaid debt, this could be a sign that someone has taken out a credit card using your Social Security number. The second red flag is problems filing your taxes. If you file your tax return with the IRS and receive an error notice that someone has already filed taxes in your name, this can be a sign that your Social Security number was stolen. You might also receive a notice of unreported income when you know that you reported every cent you earned. Finally, a lower-than-expected credit score can signal trouble. If you’re rejected for a credit card application and know that you have good credit, this can also be a sign that someone is using credit cards in your name and lowering your credit score.