Report The Crime To The Police
Under California law, you can report identity theft to your local police department.1 Ask the police to issue a police report of identity theft. Give the police as much information on the theft as possible. One way to do this is to provide copies of your credit reports showing the items related to identity theft. Black out other items not related to identity theft. Give the police any new evidence you collect to add to your report. Be sure to get a copy of your police report. You will need to give copies to creditors and the credit bureaus. For more information, see Organizing Your Identity Theft Case” by the Identity Theft Resource Center, available at
Some Immediate Action Steps To Take
- Notify your bank or financial institution about the theft of your Social Security number.
- Visit IdentityTheft.gov from the Federal Trade Commission to file a report and create a personalized plan for recovery.
- Download the Identity Theft Help App from the Identity Theft Resource Center for free help with identity theft cases.
- Go to annualcreditreport.com to obtain a free copy of your credit report, add a fraud alert or freeze your credit on Experian, Equifax and TransUnion in one place.
- If you need to contact one of the credit reporting companies directly, their customer service numbers are:
What If Someone Has Stolen My Social Security Card
If youve lost your Social Security card or someone has stolen your SSN, youre at great risk for ID theft. There are a number of ways a thief can cause damage if theyve gotten a hold of your SSN, especially if they also have access to other identifying information such as your address, personal information, and credit card number. These include:
Financial fraud: If someone has gotten hold of your SSN, they can apply for loans and credit cards. Aside from the financial damage this may cause, it will also negatively affect your credit score when loans and payments are not met.
Medical fraud: With your stolen SSN, a thief can actually receive medical care. This can negatively affect your health insurance and corrupt your medical records with false or inaccurate information, which could have disastrous consequences down the road.
Tax fraud: Your stolen SSN can help an identity thief get an unlawful tax refund, a growing problem in the US. This will delay your own refund and can cause further tax problems down the road.
What Can You Do If Someone Steals Your Ssn
If your Social Security number gets stolen and you wish to protect yourself from possible harm, there are a few things you can do:
What Is A Phishing Scam
A phishing scam is performed either over the phone or through email. The scammer attempts to fish for your personal information. They do this by tricking you into believing the communication is from a trusted source. For example, they might send an email that appears to be from your bank asking you to verify your SSN or account number. If you send this information, the scammer will have access to it and can use it for improper purposes. If you get any suspicious calls or emails, you should not respond to them. Instead, contact your financial institution directly to determine whether it is a valid communication.
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How Can Someone Steal My Social Security Number
There are several ways that criminals look to steal peoples social security numbers. For example, thieves have found them by simply searching through trash to find personal documentation. Your social security number could also be at risk in the online sphere, with cybercriminals able to exploit data breaches and then either use your details themselves or sell them on the dark web.
Is Phone Spoofing Legal
If someone can use my phone number to make calls, am I liable for it? Is phone spoofing illegal? Well, you will likely not be liable for any scams committed utilizing your phone number as long as it is provable youre a victim too. As for the legality of phone spoofing, the answer is both yes and no. As previously mentioned, phone spoofing may be utilized for scams and other illegal schemes. At the same time, spoofing or phone masking is also a legitimate practice utilized by businesses.
The United States Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 states that spoofing a phone number is allowed as long as the person is not knowingly transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller identification information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongly obtain anything of value Once it is proven a spoof caller violated this act, their actions are considered illegal and they would have to pay the penalty of $10,000.
Phone spoofing can fall under any of the following:
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You Wired Money To A Scammer
In a typical wire fraud scam, a criminal breaks into the email of someone who you know, usually professionally — an attorney, realtor or business associate. He or she squats on the email until he or she knows how you interact with this person, and then strikes, sending you a message — usually an urgent one — convincing you to wire money to an unfamiliar bank account, in order to facilitate a legal matter, home transaction or vendor payment.
Usually, the bank account is offshore. Because the transaction involves email fraud, your bank won’t reimburse you. It’s a more involved type of cybercrime and for a good reason — because criminals get money wired directly to their accounts, and often very large sums.
Drop everything and call your bank. If you have fallen victim to this type of crime, drop everything you’re doing and contact your bank’s wire department to attempt to halt the wire. If you are successful, this can save you enormous headaches later. If you know the real identity of the receiving bank, you can attempt to contact its wire department as well, although the fraudster’s bank is usually overseas and may be more difficult to reach.
Someone Is Using My Phone Number How Can I Stop This
Someone used my phone number to make calls to almost everyone in our neighborhood. Someone keeps using my phone number to call strangers. Can someone use my cell phone number without my knowledge? Someone is using my phone number, how can I stop this? Have you ever known a person who complained someone has their phone number and is using it? Or have you been caught in the same situation and wondered just what to do about it?
Considering how far weve come technologically, you would think that people wont be able to get away with using someone elses number. But then again, it is that very same technology that allows people to think of and push through with such schemes. So what exactly is this scheme? Well, its known as phone spoofing, which well discuss shortly. Also, read on to answer the questions Is someone using my phone number? If so, who is using my phone number and what can I do about it
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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 To Do If Someone Steals Your Ssn
If you become aware that someone has stolen your Social Security Number or have a suspicion, take these steps immediately. Its essential to act quickly to prevent any further harm.
The first step is to contact one of the credit-reporting agencies, TransUnion, Experian or Equifax. Heres how to contact the Big Three credit bureaus.
When you get someone on the lie, tell them you would like to place a credit freeze and a fraud alert on your credit file.
Putting a credit freeze on your file will block lenders from your credit report without your approval. The good thing is, its easy to unfreeze your account. Better safe than sorry.
The next step is to report the identity theft to the Social Security Administration and other government agencies.
The first you should contact is the Federal Trade Commission via identitytheft.gov. You can also file a police report with your local police department, which can assist you down the road.
The third step is to report your identity theft to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Doing so will distribute your report to local, state and federal authorities and create an official report. This step is the most important when asking what to do if someone steals your SSN.
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Never Share Your Social Security Number With Anyone
This should be obvious, but never give anyone your Social Security number! These callers will often ask you to verify your Social Security number so that they can remove the suspension or perform some other activity. Never give them your SSN! They might even have other information about you such as your address, work history, or other information that they use to convince you the call is real. Much of this information is available on the Internet, and they have probably obtained it simply for the process of tricking you.
Other versions of this call might only request you to verify the last four digits of your SSN. Do not give them this information either! You should not share any personal information with these callers, and that is why it is imperative that you hang up immediately upon receiving the call. If the caller gains access to even the last four of your Social Security number, they can use that information to obtain illegal access to your bank accounts or credit cards. Within a matter of minutes, they could get access to your bank account number and drain your accounts or max out your credit limits. This is not a scam that you want to fall for! Even if you are in the middle of replacing a lost or stolen Social Security card, hang up and call back using the SSAs known number.
Report Identity Theft To Other Organizations
You can also report the theft to other organizations, such as:
Credit Reporting Agencies – Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report. Also get copies of your credit reports, to be sure that no one has already tried to get unauthorized credit accounts with your personal information. Confirm that the credit reporting agency will alert the other two credit reporting agencies.
National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center – Report cases of identity theft due to a stay in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Financial Institutions – Contact the fraud department at your bank, credit card issuers and any other places where you have accounts.
Retailers and Other Companies – Report the crime to companies where the identity thief opened credit accounts or even applied for jobs.
State Attorney General Offices – Your state’s attorney general might offer tips, checklists, or an advocate to help you recover from identity theft. These resources don’t replace filing an ID theft report with the FTC.
You may need to get new personal records or identification cards if you’re the victim of ID theft. Learn how to replace your vital identification documents after identity theft.
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Is There A Way To Stop Someone From Using My Number
Now that weve established someone is using my cell phone number, is there a way on how to stop someone from using my phone number? What would be the best way to deal with phone spoofing? Well, there are certain ways to address phone spoofing, like:
Someone using your cell number is very much possible. Whether you are bombarded with calls and text messages from possible phone spoofers or complaints from victims of spoofers using your number, you could opt to block such numbers or even change your number. Its also best to file a complaint to help inform others about phone spoofing. While phone spoofing could be irritating, the legality or illegality of the act would still depend upon the purpose and circumstances.
What To Do If Your Social Security Number Is Stolen: Key Steps For Identity Protection
Your Social Security number is one of the most important and personal pieces of information you have. One of these unique nine-digit numbers is given to every American at birth or at the time they obtain U.S. citizenship. Its a vital detail that can help you keep track of your earnings, open new lines of credit and use as identification, among many other activities.
Because its so personal and tied specifically to you, however, your Social Security number isnt something you want just anyone getting access to. After obtaining it, someone could use it to impersonate you, steal your identity or enter into financial transactions that create unnecessary hardship for you.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts at keeping your Social Security number safe, it might end up in the wrong hands. If you suspect your SSN has been stolen, its vital to take the right steps to protect yourself. The following tips can help you get back on track if youre dealing with a stolen number or similar identity-theft situation.
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A New Sin Does Not Protect You From Fraud And Identity Theft
The Government can only share your new SIN with the federal departments and agencies that use your SIN.
Therefore, you are responsible of providing your new SIN to every financial institution, creditor, pension provider, recent and current employer, and any other organization with which you shared your old SIN.
Report The Fraud To The Three Major Credit Bureaus
You can report the identity theft to all three of the major credit bureaus by calling any one of the toll-free fraud numbers below. You will reach an automated telephone system and you will not be able to speak to anyone at this time. The system will ask you to enter your Social Security number and other information to identify yourself. The automated system allows you to flag your file with a fraud alert at all three bureaus. This helps stop a thief from opening new accounts in your name. The alert stays on for 90 days. Each of the credit bureaus will send you a letter confirming your fraud alert and giving instructions on how to get a copy of your credit report. As a victim of identity theft, you will not be charged for these reports. Each report you receive will contain a telephone number you can call to speak to someone in the credit bureaus fraud department.
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How Do You Find Out If Your Social Security Number Has Been Suspended
Maybe youre worried thinking, I received a phone call saying my Social Security number has been suspended. If you receive this type of phone call, you can ignore it. The SSA does not suspend Social Security numbers, so you can rest assured that your number is still active. If you are truly concerned, you should call the Social Security phone number at 800-772-1213. You might even get a call or voicemail stating that an arrest warrant has been issued on your SSN, and you can ignore those calls too. You can also set up a My Social Security account to check your information at SSA.gov.