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How Does Someone Get Your Social Security Number

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Telltale Signs That Your Social Security Number Has Been Hacked

How To Find Someone’s Social Security Number | Lookup SSN by Name

Theres no easy one-click way to check if your SSN is being abused by hackers. Youll need to do a little sleuthing and stay aware of your financial health. Here are some indicators that someone is using your social security number:

#1: Unexplainable changes in your credit score

Your credit score is what helps banks and lenders to determine what risks theyll be facing if they decide to lend you money. That is, based on your track record, it shows them how likely you are to pay back the loan. Different financial factors influence your credit score. Thankfully, you can check it to see how youre doing financially so you can make corrections where necessary.

If you check your credit information and notice accounts that you didnt initiate, youre probably a victim of SSN theft. Another sign is if you are turned down for a new credit application even though youve had great credit before.

#2: Inaccurate banking information

Considering that almost any;Social Security number identity theft;aims to steal your money, this is another excellent way to check if youve been hacked. Therefore, when your bank statements come in, be sure to look through them carefully. If you see payments for any subscriptions you didnt make, its possible your ID isnt just yours anymore.

If you notice small test charges on your credit or debit accounts, that may be a sign that someone is attempting to open a new account or membership in your name.

#3: Changes in your email/snail mail

Shred Mail And Documents With Personal Details

Discarded mail and documents are a magnet for identity thieves. Dont just throw out papers that contain personal details such as your SSN. Get a paper shredder and use it on a regular basis. While youre at it, dont leave mail in an outside mailbox for long periods. Stealing mail is another way thieves can make off with your information.

How To Get A Replacement Social Security Card

To get a Social Security replacement card, visit the SSAs My Social Security account website. Youll be taken through the steps of requesting a replacement card. Keep in mind that you can use this online site to request a replacement card if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address;
  • Are not requesting a name change or any other change to your card; and
  • Have a valid, current driver’s license or a state-issued identification card from most U.S. states or the District of Columbia. The following states are not currently eligible:
  • Alabama
    ;

    To apply for a replacement Social Security card, either online or via mail, you’ll need one acceptable personal identification document. By and large, your birth certificate will suffice, although the SSA will also accept the following proof of identity:

    • A U.S. hospital record of your birth.
    • A religious record indicating your date of birth .
    • A current valid U.S. passport.
    • A final adoption decree .

    There are several exceptions if you cant get the needed identification documents, or dont have them at all. The SSA will accept other forms of identification that show your legal name and biographical data. Acceptable options include a U.S. military I.D. card, a U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, employee identity card, a certified copy of a medical record , a health insurance card, Medicaid card, or school identity card.

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    Use Required For Federal Tax Purposes

    Internal Revenue Code section 6109 provides: “The social security account number issued to an individual for purposes of section 205 of the Social Security Act shall, except as shall otherwise be specified under regulations of the Secretary , be used as the identifying number for such individual for purposes of this title .”

    The Internal Revenue Code also provides, when required by regulations prescribed by the secretary of the treasury or their delegate:

    • Inclusion in returns: Any person required under the authority of this title to make a return, statement, or other document shall include in such return, statement, or other document such identifying number as may be prescribed for securing proper identification of such person.
    • Furnishing number to other persons: Any person with respect to whom a return, statement, or other document is required under the authority of this title to be made by another person or whose identifying number is required to be shown on a return of another person shall furnish to such other person such identifying number as may be prescribed for securing their proper identification.

    According to U.S. Treasury regulations, any person who, after October 31, 1962, works as an employee for wages subject to Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, or U.S. federal income tax withholdings is required to apply for “an account number” using Form SS-5.

    How Thieves Steal Ssns

    Social Security Number Lookup for Professionals

    There are several ways thieves can get a hold of your SSN. The most obvious is by stealing the physical Social Security card. Be sure to keep it in a secure place. This is a no-brainer.

    Things get more tricky when we go online. The three most used methods for stealing Social Security Numbers are phishing, malware and data breaches.;

    Phishing attempts are nothing new. In their efforts to steal your identity, jack your crypto or drain your rewards account, thieves use ever-more convincing methods to trick you into sharing your personal information. They often create fake websites that resemble websites of real companies that you may use regularly. The goal is to trick you into entering your private information. Often scammers will send spoofing emails with links asking you to re-enter your login information or even your SSN.

    Malware falls more under the traditional hacker category. Thieves who use this method to steal personal information, including Social Security numbers, infect your computer or mobile devices with software. That software can record your keystrokes, and if you type in your social security number at some point, that will be recorded. Other types of malware steal information from files on your device.;

    Data breaches are a major threat to consumers because its difficult to manage your data, including Social Security Number, once submitted to a website or service and stored on their servers.;

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    Replacing Your Childs Missing Ssa Card

    To replace an SSA card for a child if you do not know the childs number will require documents proving the childs identity and citizenship. You will also need to prove your identity and relationship to the child.

    If you know the childs social security number but have lost the card, it is simpler. In fact, you may not need to replace the card at all. Call your local SSA office if you are in doubt. The wait time for a replacement card is about ten days from the time they receive your request.

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    The First Social Security Number

    According to the Department of Social Security, John David Sweeney, Jr. was the first person to receive a Social Security card.; He did not live long enough to collect his benefits, as he died at the age of 61, but his wife collected his S.S. benefits.; S.S. benefits include

    Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance. ;Social Security number applications were initially issued to employers who had a specified number of employees.;;Applications were collected by;the local post offices in 1936.

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    Social Security Administrations User

    The Social Security Administration web site provides clear and reader-friendly information: www.ssa.gov/ssnumber. All applications for SSNs, whether original, replacement, or for change of name or data, use the same form, the SS-5 form . The different purposes may occasion differing degrees of documentation.

    Tip : Leave Home Without It

    How to Find Someone’s Social Security Number?

    There may be times when you need to show your card to someone. But, in general, its a good idea to avoid carrying your card or any documents that display your SSN. Its possible you might lose your wallet or leave your documents behind.

    Not all thieves will want your Social Security number, but many will. Leaving your card at home decreases the chances that these scammers will gain access to your Social Security number.

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    Social Security Cards: Documents Required To Obtain A Social Security Number And Card Or A Replacement Card

    If an individual is unable to conduct business online, check the online ;field office locator for specific information about how to directly contact a local office in your area. The National 800 number is 1-800-772-1213 and; .

    +++++++++

    The following information was obtained from the U.S. Social Security Administrations web page at: .

    To Obtain a New Social Security Number and Card you will need to provide at least two documents to prove age, identity, and U.S. citizenship or current immigration status.

    The new online service allows individuals to get replacement Social Security cards through the Social Security Administration website at:;www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber

    To Obtain a Replacement Card, if lost or stolen, you must prove your identity and U.S. citizenship.

    To prove identity: Social Security must see:

    • U.S. drivers license; or
    • State-issued non-driver identity card; or
    • U.S. passport.
    • Employee ID card;
    • Letter from doctor, with your name, address, social security number and doctors name, address, and signature

    Tip : Consider An Identity Theft Protection Service

    As identity thieves continue to evolve their methods for obtaining personal information, protecting your Social Security number is vital to protecting your identity.

    Protecting your Social Security number doesnt have to be a do-it-yourself affair. An identity theft protection service can help. For instance, it may be able to alert you if your SSN has been found on the dark web. The cost of an identity theft protection service typically ranges from $10 to $35 per month.

    Some identity theft protection services include features to monitor your credit reports, alert you when new accounts are opened in your name, or when banks, credit card companies or other financial services providers check your credit.

    For example, if you recently bought a car, you might receive an alert for the new loan. However, if you receive an alert that a new credit card was opened in your name, and you didnt apply for one, that might be a sign of fraud. Some identity theft protection services allow you to respond to alerts via email, phone, and text messages.

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    Tip : Keep Your Social Security Card And Number In A Safe Place

    Anything as important as your Social Security card deserves a home. This could be a lock box or a file folder kept in a secure place. And dont forget, your SSN may appear on important documents. They require a safe place, too.

    Dont make the mistake of carrying your Social Security card in your wallet or purse. If you lose these items, or if theyre stolen, youve put your SSN at risk. A thief might consider it quite a bonus to get your Social Security number when they snatch your wallet or purse.

    How To Place A Fraud Alert

    4 Ways to Get Your Social Security Card

    A fraud alert will make it harder for scammers to destroy your financial standing. It notifies credit card companies and other lenders or creditors that your personal information may have been compromised or you may be a victim of identity theft.

    When lenders receive the alert, lenders have to verify your identity before processing your credit application. This additional security measure will prevent scammers and identity thieves from taking out loans or opening new accounts under your name.

    You only need to place a fraud alert with one of the three major credit reporting agencies since this will automatically trigger alerts at all three bureaus . However, you have to contact each credit reporting agency if you want to remove the fraud alert.

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    Dissecting The Social Security Number

    The nine digit social security number is grouped into three parts the area number, group number, and serial number.

    The Area Number

    The area number is the first grouping in the social security number. Originally, the area number indicated the location of the Social Security Administration office where an SSN was issued . Individuals could apply at any office, so the area number was not an indication of where they lived or worked. This changed in 1972 when the Social Security Administration began issuing SSNs from its Baltimore headquarters and assigning area numbers based on the applicants mailing address.

    Anyone who applied for a social security number between 1972 and 2011 will have an area number that correlates to the mailing address listed on their application . However, the area number cannot be used to determine residence since you can have mail sent to any location. In 2011, the SSA changed the way area numbers are assigned yet again to a system called randomization. Anyone applying for an SSN after June 25, 2011 has received a randomized area number that has no correlation to any location .

    The Group Number

    The middle section of numbers is simply there to make administration easier for the SSA. The group number ranges from 01 to 99 and allows Social Security Numbers with the same area number to be broken into smaller pairings. Geographic data is not indicated by the group number.

    The Serial Number

    Avoiding Social Security Fraud: Leave Your Social Security Card At Home

    Once you receive your replacement Social Security card, lock it away in a safe place until you absolutely need it. Experts advise to avoid carrying your card around on a regular basis partly because of the risk of losing it again, and partly because you really dont need to present your Social Security card on a regular basis. In fact, one Social Security expert says that Social Security cards are irrelevant in the digital age, and the real priority should be targeted at fraud protection.

    Its extremely rare that you need your actual Social Security card, says Steven J.J. Weisman, Esq., an Amherst, Massachusetts-based college professor whose expertise is in investigating white-collar crime. A Social Security number is the most important piece of information that a criminal can use to make you a victim of identity theft so you shouldn’t carry it with you in your wallet, anyway.

    But if you do lose your card, Weisman recommends taking direct action to protecting the cardholder from financial fraud.

    Because of the danger of identity theft if your Social Security card is lost, you should put a credit freeze on your credit reports at each of the three major credit reporting agencies in order to prevent someone from leveraging the Social Security number into accessing your credit or establishing accounts in your name, he says.

    Other data security experts agree, citing the high risk of losing a card if you cart it around in your wallet or pocketbook.

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    There Are Four Ways Identity Thieves Use Your Social Security Number That Could Potentially Ruin Your Credit And Wreak Serious Havoc On Your Life:

  • Opening up new accounts Your social security number is the main piece of information required when applying for a bank loan, credit card, or opening any new financial account. With that information in hand, thieves can pretty easily get credit cards or loans in your name that they can use and abuse. By maxing out credit limits and defaulting on payments theyll do major damage to your credit score and severely impair your ability to get any type of loan in the future.
  • Filing fraudulent tax returns Fraudulent tax return filings are on the rise. Identity thieves use social security numbers to file taxes and claim the refunds due their rightful owners. The Internal Revenue Service said $227 million was lost to fraudulent refunds in 2016. If you or your tax preparer attempt to file your tax return and it is rejected as a duplicate, that likely means you have been the victim of tax return fraud.
  • Obtaining medical care or prescriptions Your social security number gives thieves access to just about any and everything that belongs to you. That includes your health insurance coverage. A thief that undergoes treatment in your name can alter your medical record, resulting in potentially dangerous consequences. Additionally, thieves can seek emergency care for the purpose of getting their hands on prescription drugs, including narcotics or other drugs that can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
  • What To Do If Your Social Security Number Was Found On The Dark Web

    Did Someone Steal Your Social Security Number to File Taxes? Here’s What to Do

    Many members of the UC Berkeley community have recently received alerts from Experian that their Social Security numbers were found on the dark web, a part of the web that does not show up in online searches.

    This occurred following news from the University of California about a cyberattack impacting the UC and hundreds of other organizations.

    Individuals who have not yet signed up for the free credit and identity monitoring, and consequently who may not be aware of potential exposure of their information, shouldnow, said Jenn Stringer, Berkeleys associate vice chancellor for IT and chief information officer. For help with enrolling, call 617-1923 and reference engagement number DB26512.

    Stringer acknowledged that receiving a message from a credit monitoring service about your Social Security number being found on the dark web can be unsettling. She received one herself and advises everyone to continue to check their notifications and follow the instructions .

    Anthony D. Joseph, a Berkeley engineering professor and an expert in cybersecurity, noted the importance of the Experian alerts. The alerts provide you with important and specific information that you should then act on to help protect your credit and identity, he said. The sooner you are notified, and take action, the better.

    Both Stringer and Joseph strongly recommend that individuals with their Social Security numbers found on the dark web do the following:

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